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3 things Russell Westbrook can teach us

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charity, noun
benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity


You might’ve heard by now that Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook gave a single mother the car he won during this season’s All-Star Weekend.

It’s a fine representation of what we call the Oklahoma Standard — to serve, to honor and to be kind to each other.

Westbrook’s move yesterday can teach us a number of things in regards to the Oklahoma Standard. Here are just a 3 things his actions can teach us.


No. 3 – Empathy


empathy, noun
the ability to understand and share the feelings of another


Kerstin Gonzales is just like many of us. The 19-year-old Oklahoma Citian does what she can for the people she loves with what she has. Being a single mother of two young boys makes things a bit more difficult, and the gesture teaches us that empathy is important and can lead to wonderful things.


No. 2 – Compassion


compassion, noun
sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others


Compassion, like empathy, is a necessity, not a luxury. To care about and for your community is to be an example of humanity at its finest. Russ said it best:


No. 1 – Recognition


recognition, noun
acknowledgment of someone’s existence, validity


I can’t imagine the worries Gonzalez experiences every day as a young, single mother. I’ve never had to borrow friends’ cars just so I could get to work, or my children to school and daycare. I’ll never feel what she feels in the context in which she feels it, whether it’s elation or anxiety.

And neither will Westbrook.

But, though it might not be much for him to give away a car, it’s the recognition he and Sunbeam Family Services gave to Gonzales that matters.

Gonzales originally thought it was all a prank, until she saw the keys.

"When he showed me the keys, I was like 'this is real'. That's when I started to cry because it's been such a hard time."

Now Gonzales can breath a sigh of relief, all because of kindness, honor and service done onto her.


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Richard Hall

Richard Hall is an award-winning newsroom developer, editor and blogger for NewsOK. He was born in Austin, Texas, spent his childhood in southern California and has lived in Norman since 1999. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2008. Read more ›

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