The Words We Choose

Boston Marathon. There. I’ve said it. Two simple words. Nine Eleven. Two more words. Will we ever be able to utter these simple words together again without thoughts of terror? Recently, Nike was hustling to remove t-shirts from its outlet racks which had two little words emblazoned across the chest: Boston Massacre. Oh, and with a bit of blood splattered on the words to make it more gruesome. The shirts, which refer to the Boston Massacre of 1770, were created to commemorate two different series sweeps of the Boston Red Sox by the New York Yankees. So we use violent language to celebrate.

Sportuality: Finding Joy in the Games tells us. “We may find that the language we use to use is a reflection of old, ingrained cultural paradigms. But with greater awareness of the sportual inner self, we can shift our real thoughts about the meaning of our sportual pursuits. Or, as Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” (p. 38) We have been using language of violence and war to describe our sporting pursuits for too long.

Thoughts become words. Words can help and heal, or hurt and kill — and then reinforce our thoughts. Is it possible to use different language to create a different thought? How about dance instructor Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who lost a foot in the bombings, who has vowed that she WILL dance again, and the even if she has to crawl, she WILL run the Boston Marathon, even though she has never considered herself a runner. Ardianne’s will to move on WILL allow her to dance and run again, and her ability to forgive WILL allow her to feel joy again.

Sportuality would ask that we choose words that enhance our competitions – that is, language of ‘working with’ others, rather than working against, and elimination of the other, which leads us to warlike and violent thinking, and bad ides for our apparel. We do have choices in the words we choose. Choose wisely. Choose peacefully. Choose Sportually!

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