Archives For Celebrations

Orbit and Olympic stadium

I remember being excited as the LONDON 2012 games approached but I wasn’t exactly sure why that was.  Could I sense the impending flow of competitiveness, national pride, personal stories of triumph and family sacrifices?  Or was I simply fed up with the negativity of naysayers and wanted to support the hardworking people trying to organise a global event?

Whether you were supporting a sport, a national team, or none in particular, you could not help but be moved by the Olympians and Paralympians.  We have seen so many people demonstrate what hard work, good coaching, focus and commitment can do.  We have become so cynical that it took a while to engage our attention.

There is so much to admire.    They encourage us to take time to explore our talents, work to get better at what we’re good at, see competition as a way to bring out the best in us, collaborate with others when we can for a team performance, set goals and work towards these, share the struggle, accept our individuality, try to overcome adversity and keep an eye on the rest of the world to give us perspective.  A wonderful reminder of what our fellow human beings are capable of.  This could help to motivate us to keep going through our own challenges and disappointments.  Many participants vowed to perform better in London than they did in Beijing and others are planning to improve for Rio; we have our own performance timelines to work towards.   We don’t need to do their best, just ours.

At the Paralympics wheelchair basketball final

I was lucky enough to get tickets for both Olympic and Paralympic events and able to absorb the atmosphere first hand. It is simply incredible to see people performing at their best and being part of the elite group in their field.  When else do we get the best in the world and have them compete to find the best of the best?

And it’s been great experiencing that community feel with people talking and laughing with strangers, smiling staff offering high 5’’s and people offering to take pictures for others.  And I even saw someone offering free hugs at a few events.

I am really pleased that Team GB performed brilliantly and Team Grenada won its first gold medal! I am left with a good feeling and a plan to get fitter and focus my energies better.  How did you feel before the games came, once they started, and now that they are over?

Mandela is 90 today!

July 18, 2008

It is wonderful to be alive at the same time as this great man.  Previous generations had Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.  I am still amazed at how well loved Mandela is, not because of him but because we so often choose beauty, power and money over substance.  

Mandela stood up for what he believed in : equality and social justice.  He suffered for his cause.  When punished with a prison sentence he tried his best to use that time to develop his physical, mental, emotional and spiritual strength.  When released by his captors, he chose forgiveness and reconciliation over persecution and retribution.   He is not a saint but he had vision and could see what would move humanity on; a long term view.  In his personal life he has had the painful public breakdown of his early marriage and the death of a child.  Still he continues, through his charitable work, to do all he can for the good of humankind.

How many of us are really prepared to work for equality and social justice, at home? abroad? worldwide?

How many of us will use a time of suffering to develop our character?

How many of us will forgive our oppressors when the tables turn and we have the power? Turning the other cheek rather than an eye for an eye.

Like many I struggle with these truths but feel it is worth aspiring to.   What do you think/feel about it?