Now that the Olympics are over are you left with an empty feeling? Or, are you excited about the up and coming Paralympics. I love the promo line for the latter, ‘Thanks for the warm-up’ (see below). Reason, because it communicates a sense of super powers regardless of full or part enabled bodies. I’ve always felt that the term disabled is negative. I tend to say, differently enabled.
[I read from http://blogs.channel4.com/paralympics/ via a quote from The Daily Telegraph when talking about reaction to Oscar Pistorius’s (South African double below-the-knee amputee) Olympic debut at London 2012. ‘It has been met with almost universal positivity across the globe. Some have questioned his eligibility to compete in the Olympics, but almost everyone has been thrilled to see him on track. And at the end of the Men’s 400m sprint semi-final, in which he came 8th, the eventual winner Kirani James from Grenada marched straight over to Pistorius to swap his pinned-on name label.’
The Daily Telegraph added:
If the Games are a celebration of perseverance as well as skill, then what greater triumph of the will can there be than for a man with no legs to run an Olympic race?
The joy of living – parking my cynical side!
After last night’s Olympic closing ceremony I tried to park my cynical side and look at the postive.I was impressed with people from different backgrounds and parts of the world just partying and not being territorial. The stadium represented the world and wasn’t it great that after the flags marched on to the main stage on parade all of the atheletes for the first time emerged from the seating aisles – suggesting people come from people and ‘we are the world’! More events that unite us could prevent shootings that occured during the Olympic week in Oak Creek, WI, USA.
On Saturday afternoon, the day before the closing event, I had to perform a high street (UK term for a row of shops) domestic drop off. I sat waiting at the traffic lights for my green light. To the left of junction was open paved area with a 3 seater wooden bench placed in the centre. Here a man sat cross-legged on his own. He was dressed in a beige cotton suit, white shirt and tweed tie. He appeared to be in his late 60s / early 70s with a full head of waving white hair. His facial expression was one of a huge grin. His wrinkles shone & glowed through his reddish brown skin tone. He’d clearly been sitting out in the sun for a while.
I wondered about his life. Was he waiting for someone or simpy sitting and watching the world go by. Buses and cars passing him were metaphors of lifes events. I imagined that if his smile represented positivity, maybe that is something that I need to learn from. To be more accepting of things that will not change yet be strategic and planned for those things that I can. We all hope for the best and optimism has to be something that can change us, especially for deprived global communities. NB It is always unacceptable to be under the thumb of inequality and no humanity.
Leadership is key
We need to bring back more local projects, international link-ups and opportunities to develop run down estates. Only then can we sustain the feelgood factor. This requires politicans and economists to get creative. The Marshal plan reconstructed Germany and Japan after world war two. We need to be aware of natural minerals being robbed from Africa and Arms sales to countries from countries that should know better.
The Olympics show us that if we have a positive attitude and work for excellence it can form a construct for unity. Only then can good prevail. This same approach needs to exist within lending institutions like banks and removal of red tape, for example seeing people starving in central India just miles from warehouses full of grain!?
If the Olympic ideal is not about winning but taking part from both an athelete and supporter perspective, they are not mutually exclusive (mutually exclusive means that implementing one will automatically rule out the other) – They fuel each other to deliver a feel good factor that achieves success for all through an attitude of positivity.