The day before the game I went looking for tickets, it was was completely sold out and I was able to find 5 tickets together from a scalper, a reseller. I knew a friend who was also looking for tickets so I called her and asked her if she wanted me to find some for her. She asked which location seats did I find? No idea… I looked at the tickets and proudly said “General Norte”. She was quiet for few seconds and responded, no thank you, don’t worry, which made me wonder where is “General Norte”?
I emailed a picture of the tickets to my kids… all were excited.
Next day the kids left school early to go to the game. We all put on our yellow jerseys and we were ready for the game. We got there, we painted our faces got in line and found our seats.
The tickets that I had purchased were on numbered cement stairs, located at the top of the stadium, far away from the field and behind the goalkeeper. Not the best location to watch a World Cup qualifying game and the best soccer player in the world, Lionel Messi.
Daniela, my daughter instantly complained, what is this? We can barely see the players, and we can only see the back of the goalkeeper. Look, pointing at the “palco” theater sitting area… those are the seats that we should have.
I looked at her and said; “gorgeous, we are lucky to find tickets and remember this is the best place to watch a game, you will see…”
Thinking in my head, these might be the worse seats possible. Oh well, we are here and we are going to have a great time.
A few minutes later, Daniela after thinking and realizing that we were lucky to have been able to come to the game said to me “ I am excited about this game and the best thing we are going to see Messi”. She had decided that she was going to make the most of this situation.
While waiting for the game to start, I realized we were seated in the middle of the “Barra Brava”. For better understanding I got the translation from the dictionary: “Barra Brava: a group of violent soccer supporters”. Now I understood why my friend did not want me to get tickets for her family.
The game started and the crowd began to cheer, to sing, to dance… The area where we were seated was not just a place to watch but a place to feel the game. People come to the stadium to celebrate and we were in the middle of the celebration.
Our family quickly became part of the celebration, I told my kids, today you can use any cuss word… they learned quickly and used them all. Referee %#&!, Messi %#&!, Goalkeeper %#&!, they learned the cheers and dances.
During the first half when Ecuador scored while we all were celebrating I saw Gabriel, my son hugging a father and son, all three embraced in the celebration. The “Barra Brava” was really a very cheerful group of people from all over that got together to enjoy the game. Any difference in race, politics, religion, social status, despaired during this great jamboree. We all became one nation!
I pointed to my kids showing the theater seating area. There, people were enjoying the game, but lacking the festive attitude… they would clap, cheer but they did not become part of the celebration.
At the end of the game I told my kids, “I told you these are the best seats.” They all agreed and had a huge grin on their face.
So, what did we learn from this?
Everyday, we find ourselves in different circumstances, good, not so good or terrible.
But here is the key; the outcome of these situations depends on how we react to it. It is our attitude that will affect the outcome. In other words, our perspective determines the way things turn out.
If you have a pessimistic predisposition the outcome will be negative. On the other hand, if you accept the situation and try to make the best of it, with the best attitude the outcome will be the most favorable.
Daniela’s perspective changed when she said to me “ I am excited about this game…”; she was very optimistic and decided to alter the outcome. The end result was that we as a family had an amazing experience that we will never forget.
“It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult undertaking which, more than anything else, will determine its successful outcome.” -William James