Love the game.
Love your team.
Love your teammates.
Love the process.
Love the outcome.
Love your enemy.
“It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.”
Shifting one’s idea about competition is the quintessence of true Sportuality. Again, defining competition as “to work with” rather than “to work against” asks us all to consider our thought about why and how we compete, and our thoughts about with whom we compete.
Sportual stories come to me on a daily basis – via friends, television, internet, print material, or personal experience. My life is a reflection of my sportual values, and my call is to draw yours forth. We all have a sportual story, whether it’s a memory or an ongoing way of life. We may associate with sport as a player, a coach, a fan, a parent, or an official of the games. Regardless of how we play, each of us have a story that has influenced, grown, shaped, or changed our attitudes and beliefs. How have you been challenged to love your adversary, to cheer for another, to feel empathic joy for “the other?”
Then on the other hand, how often have you wished for elimination of “the other” as a competitor? It is this thought that evokes our violence, hate, judgment, and ultimately, our warlike nature. And when Jesus said “Love your enemies,” I’m pretty sure he meant don’t kill them. Sport has the ability to address the needs of our planet to bring us together as one. Sport is the perfect vehicle to reach all peoples in all nations. Love your neighbor. Compete, yes, but do so with the best of intentions.
Aaron Hernandez. OJ Simpson. Oscar Pistorius. Jovan Belcher. Baseball’s bench-clearing brawls. Hockey’s fights. Football’s bounty scandal. Children in Rocket Football getting rewards for taking out a competitor. This is murder, violence, and madness, but sport can and should teach the higher lessons. Humanity demands more of us.
Love your enemy….Sportually.