On Saturday, December 1, Jovan Belcher, a linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, shot and killed his girlfriend and then committed suicide.
On Sunday, December 2, the Kansas City Chiefs won their game against the Carolina Panthers in what Panthers coach Ron Rivera called “an inspired game.” After the game Brady Quinn, the Kansas City quarterback, spoke to the press about the game and this horrible tragedy. Specifically, he was asked to talk about the emotion he felt after the game.
Here’s how he answered that question:
“It was tough. I think it was an eerie feeling after a win because you don’t think that you can win in this situation. The one thing people can hopefully try to take away, I guess, is the relationships they have with people. I know when it happened, I was sitting and, in my head, thinking what I could have done differently. When you ask someone how they are doing, do you really mean it? When you answer someone back how you are doing, are you really telling the truth? We live in a society of social networks, with Twitter pages and Facebook, and that’s fine, but we have contact with our work associates, our family, our friends, and it seems like half the time we are more preoccupied with our phone and other things going on instead of the actual relationships that we have right in front of us. Hopefully people can learn from this and try to actually help if someone is battling something deeper on the inside than what they are revealing on a day-to-day basis.”
Quinn’s comments are a powerful reminder of the importance of focusing on the people in our lives. That’s not to say that social networking and using devices such as smartphones, tablets and computers to be connected don’t have a place in our lives. They do, and they help us stay connected. But they can’t, shouldn’t and don’t replace the in-person interactions that are so valuable to the relationships in our lives. That’s what Quinn reminded us about.
We should take the time to turn off and put down those devices and focus on the people in our lives sincerely. When he asks: “When you ask someone how they are doing, do you really mean it?” he challenges each of us to examine the sincerity with which we engage people. His horror and shock at what has happened with a teammate and friend has caused him to ask us all to reassess what is important in our own relationships.
Thank you, Brady Quinn.
The author is solely responsible for the content.
About the author
Since 2004, Peter Post has tackled readers' questions in The Boston Sunday Globe's weekly business etiquette advice column, Etiquette at Work. Post is the co-author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business" and conducts business etiquette seminars across the country. In October 2003 his book "Essential Manners For Men" was released and quickly became a New York Times best seller. He is also the author of "Essential Manners for Couples," "Playing Through–A Guide to the Unwritten Rules of Golf," and co-author of "A Wedding Like No Other." Post is Emily Post's great-grandson. His media appearances include "CBS Sunday Morning," CBS's "The Early Show," NBC's "Today," ABC's "Good Morning America," and "Fox News."