While living in the Mess, I seem to have more time than usual to watch TV. However, if you are not an avid sports watcher there is very little on! Yet from the snippets of tennis, cricket and swimming it is easy to see that there is a lot of local pride hanging on sporting victories.
Have you noticed that to many, winning has become everything? Is that how it is supposed to be? The traditional Aussie approach has been to strive for excellence and personal achievement, but to never forget the underdog and the battler, because it is all meant to be FUN! Are we sending the right message when superstars win gold yet are still ‘not satisfied’ with their performance? Such driveness is not healthy!
Sadly, a competitive spirit can rob us of the very values which are desperately needed in the community. Yes we are called to give our best, but winning is not everything. It is great to celebrate with the winners, but let us never forget to encourage the losers as well. What can you do to support the people close to you that are struggling?
US President Theodore Roosevelt put it like this:
“It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with the sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” (from citizenship in a republic)
So, keep hanging in there, even if it feels like you are not winning – keep daring greatly!
Chaplain Ian Whitley