The race for cash is claiming another high school student’s senior year as #1 2022 basketball prospect Emoni Bates is re-classing to 2021 so he might reach the NBA more quickly.
There is a a troubling impatience for wealth and success that causes these decisions. In some cases, it can be justified by family financial needs, but more often than not they are driven by a hunger for what’s next that comes at the expense of what is.
Not to get all metaphysical, but hurrying through life is silly as it will all be over soon enough. Anyone who says seen Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory knows what happened to Veruca Salt. She wants it NOW, is judged a bad egg, and goes down the trash chute to the furnace. Bates and others who fail to see the value of a senior year won’t be cast into a furnace, but they will miss out on moments of grace with those who want nothing from them but fellowship.
Rushing over the top of a high school senior year without experiencing it with friends and teammates wastes a a precious time that cannot be purchased with the fruits of an NBA contract.
I would never presume to advise Bates about finances or how he lives his life, but what I have learned over what I hope winds up being half a lifetime is that what is happening now needs to be embraced, enjoyed, and shared with loved ones. It’s hard to love those you hurry past.
Moments are wonderful gifts to be enjoyed, while money causes as many problems as it solves. But for some reason we continue to crave cash over camaraderie. The quest for more and more and more and the separation caused by having massive wealth (see gated communities and security guards), makes collective fun and wonder more difficult to come by.
Those blessed with the physical traits needed to make NBA millions should invest their time and energy wisely before getting to the league so they know how to enjoy that experience once they get there. The scoreboard for a life has nothing to do with the number of zeroes at the end of an account balance. Victory is a much more subjective evaluation involving the impact a life has upon others.
Those like Bates considering skipping steps should take a few days to ponder the consequences of their haste, and the good they might be able to do now rather than the chips they can stack before developing the wisdom to know what they should do with it.
Life is short, enjoy the ride.