Okay, so I’ve checked my blog to see when was my last post, and it’s been just over a week… Classic Lisa, boundless enthusiasm for a short while, and then nothing. So, to stop the rot, and do what I said I would do (post something regularly, to keep a sense of continuity), here are a few words. Well, two words - Olympic Games.
Yep, that’s what has taken my focus this last week, and back onto the internet, to randomly, purposelessly trawl (thinking, as I do, that I could “just have a bit of a look”, and then come off and go straight back to being focused on my writing and whatnot. Yeah, right: like that’s ever happened, or ever likely to).
And here’s the ridiculous thing - I can’t actually ‘watch’ the Games, because I don’t have a tv licence (along with not having a television, which I gave up about fifteen years ago), so instead I read the instant updates about it, and then watch the clips when they’re available. And in between waiting, I drift off and look at some of the other topics I’m interested in/obsessed about (the most recent ones being books and reading). Just my mind’s way of finding a way to get back on the internet.
The other ridiculous thing is that I don’t actually agree anymore with the idea of competitive sport, despite loving sport, and being competitive by nature. I used to love doing sport at school, and I was good at it, but it brought out my competitive nature to the extreme - I was an appalling team player because I would even compete with my team mates. I didn’t know how not to: I just am not a team person (like I’m really not a people person, though I’ve moved past the “I hate people” phase I was in for many years. I’m just not comfortable or happy around them). I’m not the type of person who should be let loose with a hockey stick… or any other piece of sports equipment that could double up as a lethal weapon.
Even when playing ‘friendly’ games, I couldn’t help myself. My friends hated having to partner me when we played badminton doubles, because I would simply take over the whole of our side of the court, and hardly allow them to get a touch of the shuttlecock. I couldn’t share, I didn’t trust them, and I hated to lose. And boy did I hate it when there were five of us, and I had to take my turn off the court…
And whenever I used to watch sport on tv, I would become vicariously competitive, and turn into one of those awful, judgemental, nationalistic fans, shouting at the television about how great my side were (I’m English when we’re playing Scotland, Ireland, or Wales, and British when we’re all clumped together, as we are for the Olympics; and if no-one from my nation is playing, I’ll ‘adopt’ someone else’s team/athlete); how shit the others were; and how they'd cheated if we lost. Or I’d turn on our side if I couldn’t blame the others, and say how useless we were. Such a lovely person. Sport brings out the monster in me. Here’s the irony - I’m actually a pacifist at heart. I hate conflict.
Having grown more thoughtful about what I do, think, how things affect me, and who I am, etc, I now understand that in order to not feed a negative character trait or behaviour, I have to do the opposite (yeah, I know - I should maybe give it a go with the whole internet trawling thing…). It’s one of the reasons I don’t do sports anymore, and only do yoga.
Mind you, there are people who have managed to corrupt yoga. Can you believe there are yoga competitions, and people who actually want to turn it into a competitive sport? Here’s where my tolerance of people gets a little flaky (where thoughts of violence float up, and I want to bash them over the head with their yoga mats, or maybe a bronze statue of Shiva - much more effective) - ARE THEY FUCKING BONKERS?!!
Do they not know the meaning of the word ‘yoga’, or the purpose of it? It translates as ‘union’ or ‘yoke’, and means to unite the mind, body, and soul: to become whole, one with ourselves, God, and the rest of the universe - which includes other people. Competition is about separation, trying to prove yourself to be better than everyone else. How does that bear any relation to yoga? ARE THESE PEOPLE DUMB, OR WHAT? No doubt we’ll see it included in the Olympics some time in the future.
I know there are those who say that sport brings people together, and that it’s a safe way to channel and burn off energy. And I agree that maybe it does for some people. But I think for others it’s merely more fuel to the fire of their nationalistic pride, their hatred of others, and their desire to conquer and subjugate, just played out in a sports arena rather than on a battlefield.
I don’t think you can make the blanket statement that participating in sport is a substitute for war - if that were the case, we’d have less wars going on: yet (unless I’m really missing something) that doesn’t appear to be the case. For some people it seems as if sport is a substitute, but merely to pass the time, and keep in shape, for when the next war comes along.
And people wonder why our world is divided, and in such a mess, with countries, groups, and individuals all competing with each other for power, glory, and money/material gain. And no, I don’t mean that sport is to blame (or the Olympics specifically). I guess it’s just a microcosmic view of what goes on in the whole world; wherever there are people, there is competition, which can sometimes engender conflict. It’s human nature. It’s a bugger.
So there we go. I’ve probably wandered from my original point, and said more than I set out to do. It was meant only to be a brief update. But what do I know about how to be brief. And at least I’ve broken my duck (it’s a cricketing term, ironically - means to finally score after being on zero for a while).
I hope that if you are watching the Olympics, that you are enjoying them in the true, Olympic spirit - by that I mean that you are able to admire the skill of each athlete, regardless of which country they represent; embrace the ethos that says “it’s the taking part that matters, not the winning”; and not turn into a maniacal zealot.
So, here’s something that confuses me, though - if it’s the taking part, not the winning, that counts, then why give out medals?
Wishing you peace, health, and wholeness.