The girl on the far side of the tennis court yelled, “The stupid wind is messing me up.” The wind was behind her, blowing fiercely. It carried every ball she hit past the baseline and out of bounds. She was missing forehands and backhands left and right. To make matters worse, the girl was also missing serves. The bright summer’s sun was in her eyes, blinding her. The match was quickly slipping through her fingers. Frustration and anger began to overcome her. The girl could be heard complaining about the wind and the sun from a mile away. She could not wait to change sides.
Soon, her wish came true and the match had reached the point when a changeover was to occur. As she began to serve on the other side, she was immediately pleased to have no sun in her eyes. But the shade from the trees behind her was throwing her vision off. The blinding sun was replaced with disorienting shade. In addition, the wind was persistent. It was now blowing into her, causing all her shots to land short or not even make it over the net. There was also a long vertical crack along the middle of the court, and every time the ball landed on the crack, it would bounce off at an odd angle. This side was arguably worse than the pervious. Again frustration got the best of the girl and she began to complain.
Nevertheless, her opponent was playing on the same court, and she had to face the same challenges. On the far side when the wind was against her, she hit the ball softer, assuring that the ball would land in the court. She had sunglasses to shield her eyes from the sun, allowing her to hit hard, unreturnable serves. On the other side, she would hit the ball harder to counter the wind blowing into her. She was always ready if the ball hit the crack for her movement was impeccable. And through the whole match she did not complain once.
On every tennis court there are obstacles: the wind, the sun, the cracks. But how one decides to face these challenges is what determines true character. The girl who complained about the obstacles, lost the match. Her opponent who adjusted, faced the challenges head on and was victorious. The same can be said about life. As one comes across a bump in the road (or a crack in the court), it’s how they react that makes all the difference.