“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Yogi Berra (the nickname of “Yogi” is not be be ignored here) supposedly gave this Zen-like advice to a young second baseman being sent down to the minors after popping out too many times with the Yankees.
It caused the young man to stop and study the wall of the Yankee dugout for over an hour.
This koan has meaning for the rest of us even if we don’t literally get sent down to the minors.
I am a lifelong Yankees fan. I was born on Mickey Mantle’s birthday and grew up across the river from Yankee Stadium in NJ, so it was decided for me. When I was a kid, one of my relatives lived a few houses away from Yogi in Montclair and I met him several times (though I didn’t quite grasp who he was then).
You can’t deny the koan quality of Yogi saying, “How can you think and hit at the same time?”
Some of this wisdom is collected in the book When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!: Inspiration and Wisdom From One of Baseball’s Greatest Heroes
Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical. Very true of so many things we do.
I never blame myself when I’m not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn’t my fault that I’m not hitting, how can I get mad at myself? We should get mad at ourselves a lot less over things that have little or no control over. Let it go.
If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to answer. If only some people (politicians, TV commentators et al) could learn this lesson.