Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Olympics

I'll be honest, I didn't watch much of the Olympics, mostly because we don't have a TV. I actually enjoy watching athletes who have dedicated a lot time and effort to a sport.

There is a lot to be said about a person who dedicates their lives to a talent. Dedicating the time and energy to being the best in a certain discipline, yet if you were to challenge these athletes to a game of chess or anything else outside of their specialty, how would they fair? The point is that nobody can be good at everything, although my wife likes to try and prove me wrong on that. The other point that I wanted to make was the incredible dedication they have to what they do. It takes a lot of time to be a good athlete (I think I had mentioned that before). Anyway, I like giving the Olympians their time in the spotlight, in large part they worked hard to earn that.

While I really like the premise behind the Olympics, I sort of feel guilty watching them. (I still enjoy watching though). You see, the Olympics is a spectacle that showcases athletes and their amazing feats. I think that's great, I'm an exercise physiologist and understand the training that it takes to get there, but isn't there more in the world? How about the Olympics of giving? OK, Bill Gates has dominated those games... or has he. He certainly gives more money than anyone else, but how much does he give in proportion to what he has? And how much does he give in the way of time and energy? Money is easy to give if you have it, but other things can be far more difficult to give, but may be far more beneficial.

So here's the question. If we invented a new Olympics for you to display those things that you dedicate your life to, what event would you want to compete in? I've got two. The first is, and I think the most important would be an event of providing unrecognized, but meaningful service. (Do you see the irony there? I wouldn't really want it displayed, but that is what I would want to be really good at). I fall WAY short in that area and need to work on it.

My second event would be in meaningful living. I was going to say simple living, but I wouldn't stand a chance against the ascetics like they talk about in Siddhartha. And beyond that I don't think that is the real purpose of life. So my event is meaningful living, meaning a life that is focused around people, relationships and service rather than stuff. What is your Olympic event?


James said...

Nice thoughts, I would hope to be a competitor in those areas as well (meaningful service and meaningful living), good goals to work towards. I have really enjoyed reading your blog.

Emily A. W. said...

You have such a good heart. My event would be "survival of the mental and emotional traumas associated with being abnormal." (Today I am suffering from some major aches and pains associated with having my back out of whack. I'm trying to avoid a migraine headache until my chiro is back from vacation)! Ugh.