Health & Well-being

Cricket finals and trauma: It's all about perspective

Adversity and resilience

If I told you that a piece of leather hitting a hat was a profoundly traumatic event for me, then you would probably laugh under your breath and hope that I was getting professional help. You would be thinking, “Who could possibly get traumatised by a piece of leather hitting a hat?” And yet, I was, and it is entirely a matter of perspective.

I watched every minute of every game that the Black Caps played throughout the entire 2019 Cricket World Cup. And then, in an absolute travesty of an umpiring decision, I watched them lose the final because a piece of leather hit a hat.

Immediately after the game ended, my wife was sad, but she was not crying and unable to speak. I, on the other hand, was so visibly distraught that my kids woke up and wanted to know what had happened. I was completely unable to offer them any kind of explantation except that the rules of cricket clearly stipulate that if the ball (made of leather) hits a helmet (which is a hat), then you shouldn’t lose the World Cup final.

I eventually managed to explain that the reason I was upset was because New Zealand lost a game of cricket.

Although I made these facts crystal clear to my kids, they apparently did not serve as an adequate explanation as to why Dad was lying on the ground, crying and eating cereal out of the box. This led the kids into thinking that something was quite wrong. Had someone died? Were Mum and Dad breaking up? I eventually managed to explain that the reason I was upset was because New Zealand lost a game of cricket.

They were relieved.

I was thrown into another cycle of crying and cereal consumption whilst wondering how to invent time travel.

You see, my wife, my kids and I each experienced that traumatic night differently. My wife cared more about the fact that I woke the kids up than she cared about the cricket. My kids were anxious to find out why I was so upset, and until they did they imagined the worst. And me? I was devastated. And I was also angry at cows, because cows get turned into leather, and a small piece of leather hit a hat. Cows are ruining the world.

All of us perceive the events that impact our lives differently.

All of us perceive the events that impact our lives differently. It is constantly confusing to me that there are people out there who didn’t even watch the cricket World Cup final, let alone the fact that many of them were not as equally devastated by it as I was.

What is true of that fateful cricket match is also true of this latest lockdown; not everyone will be perceiving it in the same way.

James Beck

James Beck

James Beck is our Director of Development and has been part of our team for over 10 years. James started his time here as an Attitude presenter and has reached over 200,000 people in schools, prisons and workplaces all over the country.


Recommended Content