Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's Not Fair

I love the Olympics, the opening ceremony never fails to bring a tear to my eye - all that optimism and camaraderie, humans coming together as one people, with the common goal of achieving excellence in sports.
May I just say though, that sometimes I wish that the art of being a good loser would be taught alongside the skills and the confidence it takes to win.

Most already have this down - the handshake, the nod of the head and the brief verbal congratulation, but where this politeness falls down the most is when there is a refereeing error - a bad call or an unseen foul.
Many of these kinds of errors are rare now because of modern technology - video playback, slow motion, and camera angles etc, which is great for fairness, but in some ways I am sad because the new technology has lessened the opportunities for us, as participants, to deal with human fallibility and unfairness.
Of course, sports and games should be fair and the true winner should be rewarded, but I cannot help thinking that the opportunity to deal with of one of the greatest lessons life has to give, is being taken away from us - that of experiencing the cold truth that life is absolutely impartial, and cares nothing for the outcome.
At it's very heart, when you are on the losing side of a bad call, it is absolutely, and unremittingly unfair. And you know what?
That's OK.
Fairness is not universal.
It is situation dependent, and sometimes you draw the short straw.
Sport is a lovely, safe, place to find this out ... and a place to practice how to deal with it.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all about gaining advantage and being all tricky and sneaky where dueling (and other combat) is concerned, but if you are participating in a sport against others, please have the fortitude to lose gracefully. The experience will definitely improve your understanding of time, place, those around you, and of course yourself.

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