The Associated Press recently quoted the famous Division I college basketball coach Bobby Knight as saying. “I’ve always thought that if there’s ever an occasion for a song to be sung on my behalf, I wanted it to be Frank Sinatra singing ‘My Way.’”
The Texas Tech coach had 880 career wins to his name when the Associated Press printed his comments. He also has a bit of a checkered past, complete with accusations of physically assaulting players on some of his teams and temper tantrums that are rarely matched by any other college coach.
But his recent achievement, having the most wins of any college coach ever to coach Division I, is indeed an impressive feat. However, with that said, I have to wonder what exactly makes men, even late Frank Sinatra, think they truly did anything “their way”?
See, I’m not buying into this philosophy of people being entirely the masters of their own destinies. It just doesn’t hold water. There are too many holes in the flask of self adulation.
We, and I do mean we (all of us), have learned, are learning, and will learn from others. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, and on down the list influence our decision making, our personality traits, and our self-perception. Bobby Knight can believe “he did it his way”, but is that really true about anyone? Does any human stand alone? Has any man really developed and marketed his “own way”?
From the time we are born, until the time our span of earthly years end, people are influenced by the world around them. I’m not sure why men or women like to brag about being a “self-made man” or a “self-made” woman, but even the word themselves sound comical. Self-made? I’m sure someone claiming such status might get a bit of an argument from say, maybe…his or her PARENTS!
Did Bobby Knight teach himself how to coach? Did he learn the game of basketball from playing guard, forward, and center against his own shadow? I don’t think so. All of what we humans do has outside influence. Even a man stranded on a deserted island will be influenced by the plants and animals around him.
People like Coach Knight and Frank Sinatra have made decisions, picked career paths, and recorded successes but it is imperative that people don’t forget those who have molded us into who we are inside.
Who’s molding you? Who influences you the most? And would you really want to claim, “I did it my way”, especially when there just might be a better way – His way?
Dan, I appreciate this article. While watching a doucumentary on ETV the other day on Elvis Presley, at the end of the show he was singing "My Way", and I, like you, thought about that claim. This is a good article, with a great message. Thanks for sharing. Thomas