Monday, August 18, 2008

The Olympic Will to Win

Spiritual Truths from Contemporary Life to Build You Up

I was thinking….

Every time the Olympic Games come around, the human heart leaps with ineffable happiness. History and geography coalesce around faster, higher, stronger human beings. We cheer when our own countries do well. We admire those who win from other nations. We marvel at human agility and ability. We sit glued in front of televisions to take it all in—human beings at their finest physical prowess, performing in near mechanical perfection.

On the other hand, we are disappointed when the will to win occasionally overrides a person’s, team’s or nation’s sensibility. Athletes may be encouraged by coach, team-members and even athletic committees to artificially enhance their performance.

If athletes didn’t possess a will to win, they wouldn’t be worth watching. It’s more than a mere wish to win. It’s their will to win that generated the hard work to win over years of training. The will to win must be matched by their work to win, in preparation to win.

However, the will to win at all costs—especially relational and ethical costs—reduces a person to physicalism, even to being regarded as a mechanism.

Aren’t the finest athletes, who get and keep our attention during a record breaking 100 meter dash or 8 gold medals, more than physique or machine? They are really human. But we shall not consider them, and they shall not consider themselves, as gods to be worshipped. Indeed, they are merely human.

What do you think?

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Ramesh Richard

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