Norbert Germano (Philippines) on Hopes for a Better World

July 12, 2012

While a large stadium is built to hold a big sporting event, a part of the natural world somewhere else succumbs in vain. While strong-built Olympians fight fair in their games, some people cheat themselves by surrendering into unhealthy inclinations. While some women, regardless of race, are applauded with shining Olympic medals on their necks, others are discriminated because of who they are and where they come from. And while the drums roll in the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games, bombs and missiles will boom in other parts of the world ending innocent lives. In this fast-changing world, whose slideshow of events gets more blurred as time goes by, what difference would the Olympic values make?
What was unexpected in 776 BC during the first ever Olympics and what was latent during its revival by Pierre de Coubertin in 1896 is now badly demanded by the twenty-first century. The Olympics have now gone to new heights of inculcating its values in today’s defiant world. The globe has expanded so drastically that these values now depend on the context of society and culture in which an individual exists. Technology, conflicts, and humanistic evolution have caused disputes over how the pursuit of excellence, fair play, respect, joy in effort, and oneness of the mind, body, and will should be defined. These discrepancies are the footholds where the efforts to bridge all continents in the hope of better cross-cultural understanding, mutual reverence, and cooperation are founded.

These dying values should be reawakened. An intertwining blend of sports, education, culture, and public initiatives needs to be firmer than it ever was. The Olympics was originally an educational reformation aimed for students to find values that could change their lives. Today’s education system should preserve sports more as a social tool for progress. Support and promotion of culture and Olympic education at all geographic levels should be made more concrete. The social programs that organizations such as the International Olympic Committee and the United Nations conduct should be extended further to other parts of the globe so that more cultures will be touched. The global dialogue on Olympic values should never cease. When all these are done genuinely and without prejudice, the spirit of Olympism will live on.

Gripping Olympic values is not enough if they only stay in the mind and are not acted upon. The 200 countries joining the Olympics should spread the believing hearts more for all of these values. Hope should not come only once every four years, or only once every summer, or only once every winter. It should radiate in every day of our existence. By working toward a common goal with others, we achieve excellence. By linking ourselves with others without bias, we form friendships. With faith in the field that transcends to us and to everything around us, we bring out respect. Let’s forge ahead with these values and we’ll definitely be headed toward a united world. A better world.
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