Krystle Corpuz (United States) on Living with Passion and Purpose

June 18, 2012

The Olympics have withstood two World Wars, changes in borders, and racism. Despite the inundation of world events, the Olympic Games continued to grow and perpetually inspire audiences around the world. However, the values embodied by the Olympic Games have changed considerably over the years. The event has gone beyond heroism, patriotism, and nationalism. Instead, the event now embodies the values of courage and humbleness that remind us to live each day with passion and purpose. Living with passion encourages us to live courageously despite the threat of failure. Olympic athletes live each day overcoming the fear of failure and having the courage to accept criticism that can often hurt more than inspire. The value of courage to accept failure and criticism is important to live by. Living with purpose reminds us greatness exists within us. Many of the Olympic athletes are those who have overcome insurmountable obstacles akin to poverty, broken homes, disabilities, war, or ill health. Their sacrifice and determination teaches us the value of being humble and appreciative of what we have and recognize the good we are capable of doing.
To maintain and perpetuate the foundation of these values, the Olympic Games should start as a community driven cultural initiative. National and local government institutions should set aside a sports day in honor of the sports native to their country or specific communities. As a result, young people can learn more about the sports of their heritage and gain cultural pride in friendly competition and games. Annual cultural sports fests can mix with Olympic‐like sports, like soccer, basketball, or martial arts, but the underlying basis is to reinforce the sports native to the culture and the people hosting the event. In communities fraught with violence, racial tensions, and poverty, such an event can give young people a chance to understand the value of living with passion and purpose within their cultural framework. Such an opportunity can also help instill solidarity and sportsmanship amongst young people who are interested in sports and competition.

In addition, the Olympics is not all about sports. The values within it can be replicated in different ways. Communities can share their interpretation of living with passion and purpose through theater, dance, art, food, and writing. Communities can host writing competitions, and hold art shows or dance concerts that demonstrate the theme of “living with passion and purpose” in their art. It can be a form of community outreach to encourage participation and bring recognition to all talented people in the community for positive reinforcement.

These events can be mobilized and organized through the use of social media sites that have a strong youth base. Organizers can come in the form of NGO leaders who have experience in digital activism and grassroots mobilization. Youth leaders can be identified and trained to rally young people to participate and be part of planning. Lastly, the media industry can be partners and bring the annual event onto national news in order to encourage other communities to organize cultural sports activities under an Olympic value theme.
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