I sincerely want to know why this same standard of "every young man should
serve a mission" does not apply to Jimmer. Why?
@Mightymite, well most of us on these boards know you're not about to say
anything positive about the church or its programs so we'll condider the
source of that little nugget. And yes, a prophet of the Lord did reveal to us
that "all" worthy males were to serve as missionaries. That being said,
the greatest guy I ever met didn't serve a mission and I owe him a debt
that I can never repay. Thanks, Dad.
Vai, thank you for the article. Your beginning paragraphs on what you got from a
mission were beautiful--I'll be sending them to my son in Mexico City. And
I agree that the mission experience is incomparable and can be long lasting.But I was surprised at how strongly you downplayed the value of your
experience at BYU. My experiences at BYU were so good and so important. Being an
adult making decisions on my own, being given more responsibility than I had
ever had before, hearing gospel truths woven in with secular topics, and having
the association of other committed Mormons were all important in my spiritual
development. If I understand what you're saying correctly, it makes me sad
that you didn't take advantage of the tremendous spiritual opportunities at
BYU, and only have vague memories of a few football games.
@Y Grad/ Y Dad@fred VanuakuHe got back from the war around the
age I was baptized. He had plenty of time to still serve a mission but he went
to school and got married. There's nothing wrong with it, I just think
it's an interesting contrast. But I suppose it's not my
place to tell you how to have your religious beliefs, just don't go whining
when the already 3:2 single LDS women:single LDS men ratio in Utah increases
because guys pressured to go on missions decide against it and then feel
ostracized from the church and leave. That'll be your problem (and the
unfortunate problem of single LDS women who want temple marriages), not mine.
"I'm sorry that your an ex-mormon... Like leaders of the
church said if you find your self not worthy, than start repenting go see your
Bishop and do what ever it takes for you to become worthy to server the
Lord."I left the church because I didn't believe in it. At
least you didn't insinuate that I just wanted to sin.
I don't get where you people think Ainge has been any kind of ambassador
for the Church. I grew up in Oregon not far from Ainge's family, attended
BYU one of the years he was there, and followed his Boston career only because
as a Laker fan, I can't stand the Celtics.Let me tell you, it
wasn't until the waning years of his NBA career that he became active or
involved in the Church, or even acknowledged being a part of it. Most of his
life he set a less than stellare example, certainly not one I would want my sons
to follow. As a young man, he was a punk. Don't believe me? Ask him.Steve Young? I hear just the opposite about him.
@atl 134I sustain President Thomas S. Monson as a living Prophet of God,
When he was a young man the war was going on. A lot of young men were drafted
into War so thats understand able.............. Now in this generation it is a
commandment by our Prophet that every worthy young men should serve. If you
choose not too, your just denying blessings from your father in heaven. No money
in the world can be bought for the two years a young men has serve. For those
who gave up Millions of contract to go on Mission like Mckay Christanson
baseball, Will Hopoate Rugby, this person who had a singing contract went on
there mission also, and many more,,I'm sorry that your an
ex-mormon I hope and pray that you might find your way back to the church. Some
time we make excuses for our decision. Like leaders of the church said if you
find your self not worthy, than start repenting go see your Bishop and do what
ever it takes for you to become worthy to server the Lord.thank you
@ Y GRAD/ Y DAD for your making that clear,
Come on kids, you are being disingenuous here. Our 70 and 80 year old apostles
and prophets were missionary aged in a different age. The call for every young
man to serve a mission doesn't go back that far. Also, as they served in
time of war, most by draft and not by choice, the decision to move on with their
lives was not inappropriate.Not so now.If President
Monson feels no hypocrisy in reiterating the call for every worthy young man
(and every young man to be worthy) to serve, I feel no hypocrisy in excusing the
members of the greatest generation from service in the mission field.It really is clear: God has called through a living prophet for every worthy
young man to serve. Those who have health issues can be exempted. This is not
a matter of me standing in judgment so don't confuse the issue. We are
painfully aware of young men who come home early or choose not to go at all. We
love and encourage them. But we do not back down from direction given by the
Lord through his living Prophet.
Well, I didn't mean to comment twice, I had figured my first one had been
rejected for reasons I wasn't entirely sure of so I tried again. Whoops.
@fred Vaenuku"Going on a mission is showing the Lord that we love him,
having faith in him, Obedience to our leaders, Willing to sacrifice our time to
serve him, and many more.......""those who are healthy and
able, Just admit your exercising your free agency by not wanting to serve.
Remember the scriptures says. Many are called but few are chosen and why are
they not chosen? because their hearts are in the things of the world.I
could only think that this is how Lucifer was able to convince 1/3 of our
brothers and sisters to follow him by reasons, persuasive, and compromise that
its okay not to go. "So you think not going on a mission when
healthy is the influence of the devil? Interesting... and this puts me in a
weird position seeing as I'm an ex-mormon but I now find myself having to
defend the prophet from your attack on him seeing as I think he's a kind,
decent man, but you apparently have issues with him because he didn't serve
@fred Vaenuka"I could only think that this is how Lucifer was able to
convince 1/3 of our brothers and sisters to follow him by reasons, persuasive,
and compromise that its okay not to go. "You do realize you
currently have a Prophet who was perfectly medically capable of serving a
mission but didn't, right?
Very interesting comments. When all is said and done, President Monson has
recently reiterated that every worthy young man should serve a mission. Am I
missing something? Lots of comments on either side of the fence. For those of
us who are LDS, and especially those of us who have sons, let's not try to
figure out a way to rationalize whether or not our boys should serve. Just stop
doing that. Raise your boys, in all ways, to be prepared and worthy to go. Then,
when it is time, their priesthood leaders will decide whether or not they are
ready. Jabari is no different than any other young man. If he is worthy he ought
to go - end of discussion. Following the prophet is following the prophet. No
questions, no discussion. Follow the Prophet! Surely there may be exceptions.
Let's just not try to focus on them and make it our place to create
unofficial guidelines for what those exceptions may or may not be. That is
someone else's responsibility.
I love your columns! This one should be emailed to every Bishop and YM
Vai I agree with you all the way! We choose to go on a mission because the Lord
said..... Seek ye first the kingdom of God and everything shall be added unto
you. Going on a mission is showing the Lord that we love him, having faith in
him, Obedience to our leaders, Willing to sacrifice our time to serve him, and
many more.......I could understand medical health reason but those who are
healthy and able, Just admit your exercising your free agency by not wanting to
serve. Remember the scriptures says. Many are called but few are chosen and why
are they not chosen? because their hearts are in the things of the world.I
could only think that this is how Lucifer was able to convince 1/3 of our
brothers and sisters to follow him by reasons, persuasive, and compromise that
its okay not to go. I'm grateful for Sister Parker for going on a
mission and raising their kids in the church and the older son who went on a
mission. Thank you Vai for not lowing your standard or giving in to pure
pressure. Ofa Atu
@ I'm LDS 2: Glad you liked the SI article but your belittling Vai's
opinions in his column is somewhat disingenous. I didn't see you post
anything on previous weeks' stories that Vai wrote of Marty Klein and
Barbara Nielsen - two obscure people Vai heaped praise upon because of how they
helped him in his youth. No, you wait for him to comment on public figure and
in that process stakes a claim that his younger sister served with Jabari's
mother and you're bent out of shape. Give me a break. I watch Vai on TV
in Philly and no one in this market ever complains that Vai knows Andy Reid or
has had nephews play for the Eagles. The hate emanating from Provo stinks to
high heaven. Change your handle. It's unbecoming of someone who claims
the LDS faith.
The best nissionary tool I had on my mission was Donny and Marie. I got in more
doors with them than anyway else. I think all that can should go but I am
thinkful that Donny did not. His show at the time helped me teach more than
anything else.Unless we are in someone elses shoes we can not judge
but if you do go you will not regret it. Best and hardest two years of my life.
Of course the decision to serve a mission is the decision and business only of
the individual. As is the decision to keep the word of wisdom, not
watch r-rated movies (and many pg-13), and remain morally pure. The Lord has
spoken through his Prophet (even one who himself didn't serve). Its our
choice to obey.
In this discussion I think of Donny Osmond and also of a young man from
Springville, Herring?, who opted out of professional play in order to keep the
Vai,You are spot on! Keep up the good work.The world of
fame, fortune, and glory is always tempting. This life is not the
reward. This life is the test. Let's help each other pass this test by
choosing the right things.Everyone can make their own decision, but
if you don't follow the Prophet then who are you going to follow?
The Mission and the Cost of the Mission has to apply differently to every
individual, and has too be their choice. Mostly because they are the ones that
have to live with the results. David Robinson is a shining exception
but he is just that an exception. He came along at a time when there was a
draft. Received a Free Education at one of the best Schools in the World, Went
places, sat places, slept places,that people of his race could not do at that
time and in some cases still cannot do. Some places you can order a meal but it
will never come. Some places the last Room was just Rented. We lost your
reservation and we are full. Robinson was also a Navy Officer who cut short his
Career to play in the NBA. The Taxpayers that put Robinson through a very
expensive school and paid him E-5 pay every month along the got vastly short
changed in that deal. The NCAA makes an exception because it is a Service School
and Treats it like a work study program. Robinson was watched by
both Blacks and Whites to see how he would perform.
Great article!The SI one, I mean.Vai's articles are
OK, but I get tired of the incessant name-dropping. If you believe a tenth of
what Vai writes, he is BFFs with every rich and famous person in the Church, the
Wide World of Sports, and all of Polynesia combined!I, too, knew the
Finau family. At least some of them. So? Enough name-dropping already.
David Robinson- Naismith and Wooden Winner- 1st pick in the
NBA Draft- Served in the Navy for two years- NBA Rookie of the
Year- NBA MVP- 2-Time NBA Champion- Hall of FameIf
he can do it, why not a missionary?
Guam Bomb: Thank you I see that so often and see and feel the bias so much.
Hunter played in a band on a Cruise Ship, Monson gets a bi because of the War.
However for the vast most part with some noted exception of highly
successful converts, a Mission is almost a must. Perhaps that is a
two way street.Population and where you are also have a lot to do with it. Some
places almost everyone is an RM. Others the pickings among the faithful is slim.
The cream always comes to the to and sometimes an RM expects things because they
are an RM. Many are called and serve in many ways. I served 2 Stake Missions.
One in Safford one in Vegas, I was a Temple Worker in Vegas. Now I do my Home
Teaching and I attend, and that is all I want and can handle, and at times I
wounder about even that. Then I remember that Paul was a Convert and
it okay again. Or Ill listen to Monson, or Oaks and others preach truth and
doctrine and its okay again.When your light is dim find a bright
It's his choice as HCB63 said and everyone should stay out of it. Of
course there will be pressure from the church indirectly and possibly from
family and members. There will also be a great pressure to jump into the NBA
(if chosen).Personally I think it would be a shame for him to go on
a mission and risk an NBA opportunity. If he does it right he will be a famous
strong example for members which is a lot more exposure than a mission for 2
years in another country for example. Also, when he's finished, he can go
on a mission. He'll be an adult, confident, famous (big help here!),
respected, and effective at converting.
I have stated before in previous articles of this sort that it is absolutely NO
ONE's business whether any LDS youth serves a mission or not. That decision
is solely up to the individual, with the final decision being between him or
herself and the Lord. That's it. If you are truly living the
Gospel you will never judge a person for deciding not to serve; but treat them
with the same love and compassion you would show to any other church member. If
you fail to do that, then that is YOUR problem, and you need to be taking a good
hard look at yourself rather than pointing fingers and whispering your
disapprovals.This young man has enough pressure on him without
having church members, basketball fans and [supposedly] responsible media
leaning on him to serve a mission. Stay out of it. Plain and simple. Allow this
talented young man to choose for himself. After all, one of the greatest tenants
of the Gospel is that of Free Agency. Who are you to trod on that, then judge
them if they choose contrary to your personal opinion?
I am the proud father of an adopted son, who is African American. If we doubled
his height from 2, he will be 6'8". Now he is in Kindergarten and
towers over is classmates. As parents, with older children as well, we have the
philosophy of letting our children choose their interests and follow their
passions. Our adopted son may not choose to be an athlete, but at this time is
very interested and always has a some kind of ball either in his hands or at
this feet. We have enough broken home items to attest to this fact. So, with
the assumption that our son develops into one with athletic talent, drive, and
opportunities -- I need Jabari Parker, who will likely be somewhere in the
middle of an all-star NBA career, to a be both an example of a professional
athlete who lives his religion and is an RM.Thank you Vai for a
great article, that articulates our hopes and dreams for any LDS athlete.
While I disagree with Vai's use of a public forum to pressure Jabari, I
think what is missing for many here is many is the personal decision a young man
needs to make about a mission and life's course. One should seek
inspiration and ask the Lord to guide decisions on mission and career. If Jabari
is making his statements based on fear that an NBA career will come ONLY if
taking the most direct route (skipping both a college degree and a mission),
then he indeed has a lot to learn about life and how we gain control by
relinquishing it to a higher power. But it's not ours to judge and I leave
that counsel to his parents, friends and teachers. As a side note,
I'm completely astonished at all the comments and concern about his mission
and none whatsoever about his not wanting to complete a 4 year degree. What a
funny focus you all have...
I don't like this conversation with Jabari in a global public forum like
this. If you want to say this kind of thing to him, Vai, do it when you have the
chance to meet him face to face. Not even in a personal letter. And appeal to
what he already does to serve others and how it brings balance to his life. I think he's a great and unique young man, but worry that
basketball becomes too much the center of his life. If he were my son, I would
counsel with him about the benefits of a 4 year college degree and a mission as
well as being things that prepare him for life and for basketball. And when the
basketball ends (especially if it ends prematurely), he will have an even better
chance at success in things that matter in life. I would advise
Jabari to read and think about Clayton Christensen's book on "How You
Will Measure Your Life". I'm afraid many of our LDS sports stars have
lost their luster as examples. Young and Ainge included.
Sure every young kids (young men and ladies) should go on a mission but young
kids are being advised daily by their parents, family, relatives, group leaders,
teachers and their bishop. But you think Jabari Parker might feel very
unconfortable being discuss like Vai and others saying of what Jabari should do?
Go easy on this young kid.
A little disappointed that William Hopoate was left out of the discussion here.
He is to Rugby League in Australia, what Jabari Walker is to Basketball in the
US. He walked away from a very large contract in Australia after playing in
Rugby leagues top league.(both are of Tongan ancestry by the way) Will be
interesting to see how Hopoate fairs after two years.
The biggest factor in whether or not a young man serves a mission is his desire
to serve. Have seen too many missionaries who are on a mission for the wrong
reasons. Some just aren't ready to go at 19 and may need another year or
two.Some don't go for other reasons. What is sad is when those who
don't serve missions are often treated as second class members of the
church. I would like to remind everyone that Howard W. Hunter and Thomas S.
Monson, did not serve missions as young men. Nobody could argue that these men
fell short of their potential as they served in the highest office in the
church. I hope some future leaders of the church aren't shamed into
inactivity because they decided not to serve a mission.
I am Pro Mission, my Daughter just put in her paperwork, she has some medical
issues so may not get to go. I also believe its an individual choice. Somethings
and some people are on a timeline and there is an urgency of need to get things
done.A Mission is Not something you do because there is nothing
better to do, or you can't find a job, or none of the princess in your Ward
or Stake will Merry you unless you go on one. Guess what they are liable to Not
Do after you get back. If you left with No Job Skills you come back with No Job
Skills you are still going to be the bottom of the pile till you get an
education. Which is why the Church stresses getting an Education.The
two young men who knocked on my door 25 years ago, had a sure knowledge of the
Truth and the Gospel, you know its true because you know its true. Later you
might get to smart for you own good, but when your young fresh and in the field
you vastly mostly know its true. This Cover did not make Hawaii.
I agree with Vai, a Mission can open many doors.I think a Mission
can be served in many ways. People who go into the Service or Peace
Corps, and keep the Commandments and the Standards of the Church and remain
single and chaste, are in a way serving both their Country and a Mission. The
biggest problem often being the not so faithful LDS People trying to lead them
astray so they will feel better. I saw this 1st hand when I was in the Service
in the 60's and early 70's and what I see living in Hawaii not much
has changed. The Service people go to some of the Social Events at BYUH some
looking for fine upstanding young women and men to merry. If you want to find a
good person you go to a good place. A Mission is an Individual
Choice must be that way and one size does not fit all. Pay attention to your own
life. A fine young man in my Ward did not go on a Mission for Medical Reasons.
He just got married and his young wife is in a Wheel Chair. A
Mission does No Harm.
I'm kinda happy that Jabari doesn't live in Utah, the pressure to go
on a mission would be mounting
Enjoyed all the comments. My son just completed one year on his mission. Had
he not gone he would be competing at the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials next month.
He never wavered in his desire and commitment to serve. I agree with Vai, my
son has had so many experiences on his mission that could never be duplicated
anywhere else.He'll be fine when he returns and I don't
think he will miss a beat. But it will take some time to get back in swim
shape. 2016 in Brazil will be his time.I respectfully disagree with
Danny Ainge. Every young man should serve a mission. But it's a matter of
preparation. Some don't prepare themselves and either struggle with
whether to go or struggle once they get out there. Missionary work is very hard
work if done properly. I saw plenty that coasted. But I worked myself to
exhaustion most days and really enjoyed my mission. I also agree
with Vai that the mission prepares one for marriage, for school, employment and
life and it does build in one a confidence that you can accomplish whatever you
want to achieve. Good article Vai.
Interesting how the Lord told his people not to kill yet Nephi did just that at
the Lord's command. Who am I to say the Lord does or doesn't have a
bigger plan for his boy Jabari? I hope he goes, but even if he doesn't
I'm excited to cheer for him for years to come.
I tend to agree with Ainge on this one. A mission isn't for everyone, and a
lot of kids who do go end up coming home early and feeling shame for a long
time. Having said that, not "knowing" the Church is true is NOT a good
excuse. That is a cop-out in my opinion. I would venture that more than 75% of
these teenagers embarking on a mission don't "know for sure"
whether the Church is true or not, but they have that little seed of faith that
will develop and grow beginning with the MTC and throughout their missions.All young men should prepare to go on a mission. I think Jabari would no
doubt benefit from a mission. But if he chose not to, I wouldn't judge him
or blame him one bit. Both Ainge and Young have been terrific ambassadors to the
Church. Would they (and vicariously the Church) have had as much exposure on the
public stage if they had served a mission? Who knows.
@dprichardsThink of how great an example, to those same people
("most urban, many minorities, etc"), it would be for Jabari to serve a
mission and then dominate the NBA. Two years away would not necessarily make
him lose his basketball talent (a similar situation to Sid Going who dominated
rugby). Those people would see, from a top athlete's actions, there are
some things more important that sports and being cool. They could also see that
sports, coolness, and being religious are not mutually exclusive. With that
said, I do believe it is his choice to make with God.What I love
about Vai's articles his that he writes from his heart and gives his
perspective and at the same time it's easy to see how much he cares for
people. He definitely wishes Jabari well and hopes for him to have the best
life possible. I love these articles that he writes and on this one, I agree
What some call encouragement, others call pressure. Everyone should be
encouraged, no one should be pressured, but let's not be too hasty to judge
anyone's motives on either side of the experience. A mission is a
wonderful opportunity and a wonderful experience for those that go. We need to
love one another regardless of past choices. We all make choices that might not
be what the Lord would want. Some choices are just more publicly known than
You would think there would be more unity on the topic of young men serving
missions. After all, it was a prophet who revealed the Lord's will on this
matter. But, apparently, some know better. By the way, the clarification
regarding every young man's duty came from President Kimball. Before his
declaration, many worthy young men were denied missionary opportunities due to
military draft restrictions.
Vai, I agree with most of what you write in your column. And normally I scoff at
the "He'll accomplish more for the church continuing to play than going
on a mission" argument. However, I think in this case it's a pretty
sure bet that he'll be one of the first to do just that. Think of how many
young men - mostly urban, many minorities, etc. - would look up to Jabari as
potentially the next KD or LJ. His Twitter account alone will likely reach
millions. In fact, as a hardcore BYU fan, I'm okay with him
going to play for Calipari or Krzyzewski. The wider his reach and the higher he
rises, the bigger impact he can have. With all due respect, we're talking
about something potentially much bigger than reaching a couple of pro bowls
returning punts. (I do love you, Vai.)
Our Sports Illustrated arrived in the mail yesterday. Often our copy ends up in
the trash... sometimes immediately. Not this one! I rushed out to buy more
copes, but it's not on the stands yet. Someone who recommended that every
bishop get and keep a copy in his office was right on.
@Steve C. Warren"Moreover, pressuring young people to go doesn't
seem to be working as there are fewer full-time missionaries now than in the
1990s."Also too much pressure can lead young men out of the
church since some might end up feeling shunned if they don't serve. There
was some article a month or two ago here that noted that Utah LDS singles was
something like a 3:2 women ratio.
For me, serving a mission was the right thing to do. However, I agree with Danny
Ainge that a mission is not for everyone, including those who may be prepared
and worthy. President Monson and several members of the Twelve did not serve
missions, and I think they turned out just fine.Also, I think
it's a bad idea to pressure young men to serve. When someone who is
pressured into serving fails to complete his mission, it can have a major
negative impact on his life. Moreover, pressuring young people to go
doesn't seem to be working as there are fewer full-time missionaries now
than in the 1990s. Maybe it would be best if we simply stop talking about
whether this young man should serve.
I think a mission is very personal and while everyone's experience is
different, I think it should be strongly recommended as should any opportunity
for service.Growing up in Utah with moderately active parents I had
enough of a testimony to get me on a mission, but not enough to keep me there.
With rereading the Book of Mormon in two days and a great deal of passionate
prayer my mission turned into a wonderful experience and growth opportunity for
me and I will always be grateful to those who helped me get there.
Great job, Vai. I tend to agree a "bit" with Danny Ainge. My father in
law was a clinical psychologist at BYU counselling students. He once told Elder
Hinckley that he counseled some young men NOT to serve missions. Elder Hinckley
agreed that some young men were simply not ready or capable in a spiritual and
mental sense. That said, those cases are relatively rare. If a young
man has a testimony of the Gospel of Christ, regardless of how strong it is, he
will have the chance to get out of his little world of self-serving and have the
greatest chance with the greatest reward to serve someone else virtually 24/7
for two years. And for young women, 18 great months. Yes, a great
many of us fail to do all we can do when serving, but value has nonetheless been
given and received.Ten years after ending his career in the NBA vs.
ten years after serving a mission, Jabari Parker is more than likely going to
have more overwhelmingly wonderful memories of his mission and the people whose
lives he's forever changed for the better.
Not such a goog article. This kid has enough pressure on him without someone
harping about a mission. Let him be a kid.
Vai,Awesome article! Agree with everything you said. Every LDS
young man should prepare, and be ready to serve. Those of us who did almost
universally cherish the experience and blessing of serving a mission. That
service can truly change one's life.We also need to withhold
judgement, and still respect, love, and value those who choose not to, for
whatever reason. My Brother in law from SLC went directly into the military out
of high school, and has since served as a Bishop among other callings.
Great article as always & very inspirational. Thank you for your comments
on the mission thing. I loved my mission but I have 2 sons, who for medical
reasons can not serve. As a church we need to not judge why someone did not
serve. it's personal between the person & the Lord. I love that I
share a faith with folks such as the Skihema's & the Parker's
& the Romney's not perfect just trying to do the best we can &
humbly do our part.
Always good to open the sports page for as good moral lecture. What started out
as a comment on young Mr. Basketball ended up with that pesky old free agency
slant by Vai hammering his points home.
If I were in a position to recommend that every father, mother, Bishop, Stake
President in the LDS Church keep a copy of this article in the back of their
Book of Mormon, I would do it. Especially for that forseen, or unforseen, time
when the answer to that question becomes very relevant.I would hope
that every recruiter, every faculty member, every coach, every ardent fan
pushing BYU athletics will do the same.
My daughter came home from her mission in October. Her brother left for his
mission in November. He would not have gone without her serving the Lord. Her
mission changed & example was the encouragement for him to go at 21. Her
mission changed my life for the better.
I grew up in Provo and went to BYU. Both of my parents taught at BYU. My dad
and all of my brothers went on missions. Every man I knew was faithful in the
church...it was all I knew.I had faith that the church was true and
always knew that I would go on a mission. I honored my priesthood and lived my
life to be worthy of a mission. There was just one problem, I didn't KNOW
the church was true. How could I go on a mission and profess to know anything
of the divinity of Christ or the truthfulness of Joseph Smith and the Book of
Mormon? To do so would be deceitful and contrary to the basic moral that I was
raised with...honesty.I chose not to go. I think there are a lot of
young men that feel just as I did. How can such a person go on a mission?
Perhaps that is what Danny Ainge is referring to in his comment about missions.
Perhaps more Mormons should contemplate the morality of encouraging young men to
profess something is true when they have no such knowledge.
Good article Vai. I have to disagree with one point though. A mission was not
so challenging that 99% of others could not cope or handle it. Many people just
coast through missions without realizing the opportunities before them. In some
ways a mission is easier than real life because it is so structured and removes
a lot of the individual decision making required as a responsible adult in the
world. I'm not trying to take anything away from a mission - it's the
best thing I've ever done - but it's not as hard as many make it out
Jabari Parker needs to do something to break the comparison between him and
Vai, I read the SI article and it is excellent. So is your article in response.
I hope there's a chance that Jabari will read it.