The opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics is just hours away. As we wait for what may be considered the greatest games on earth, we again get to pause for a moment and think about our greatness as a people; humanity. Every 4 years we get an opportunity to sideline the politics of our globe and instead celebrate the potential that exists within the human race. We celebrate country, we celebrate individuality, and most of all we celebrate togetherness. The opening ceremony, and indeed the Olympic Games, demonstrates what it’s like when the world throws a party. We smile together, cry together, and sense a certain pride and joy as we watch our athletes compete.
I remember vividly the games of 2008 when the skies in Beijing lit up with fireworks, and the words of the song You and Me echoed in the Bird’s Nest. I was instantly reminded of how brutal we could be as people, but yet how our very being begs to be loved, to be held, and to feel appreciated. I got emotional thinking about how much we could have achieved as a race, the human race, if we put aside our petty differences and worked towards sharing this great world. Over time we have allowed politics to draw borders where none existed; we allowed a religion of love to tell us that we should reject those who are not like us. We have allowed the pigmentation of our skin to tell others that they are less or greater than us.
The world economy divides us. Money indicates what we are entitled to. Some of us live in mansions, while others live under bridges. Some of us eat at the best and most expensive restaurants, while some of us sort through yesterday’s garbage. In competition for the world’s scarce resources we sometimes resort to violence. We kill, we hurt, and we claim to do it in order to satisfy our own selfish desires. Sometimes we forget to laugh, because ironically in a world of over 6 billion people we feel alone. How and why do we feel alone? The ears that use to listen now stay tuned to an iPod. The stories we use to share are now relegated to a tweet or a Facebook status update. Our cry for attention goes unnoticed. Or needing to belong remains an inward cry. We allow injustice to penetrate our lives because we choose to ignore what does not affect us directly. People die every day, but we remain complete because our family members are still with us. We remain silent when the rights of others are abused as long as our rights remain secured.
Today we remember that the world we live in is the same world that saw the Holocaust. The world we live in is the same world that stood by and allowed the massacre in Rwanda. Earth, this magnificent piece of Godly creation is the very place where people die because of beliefs. It is right here on earth we once had signs that relegated blacks separate from whites. Today these physical signs are gone, but the same signs exist written in the hearts of those still harboring racial resentment. This great earth once enslaved a people, and sold them like cattle. This great earth has seen the development of weapons that can eradicate our world as we know it. We build to fight, we build to defend, but no one builds to love.
The beauty however is that this great earth is still a place where the human heart can surprise us. Because for all the bad that there has been, the human spirit has also demonstrated generosity. It is sometimes the things that fail to make headlines that speaks to whats good in humanity, like the friend who made you smile today, or the stranger who helped you yesterday. This great earth can still create a spectacle that brings us together in celebration where we stop tears for a while, and embrace joy, embrace love, because we are all one family, the human race.
The world isn’t perfect, it perhaps never will be, but every four years we get to live momentarily in an atmosphere that seeks to promote unity. Let us all take advantage of this moment as we each watch our athletes enter the world stage. The pride you will feel as you see your nation’s flag enter the stadium is a reminder that there is a greater thing which unites us. Today, more than any other, you are not your political party, your ideology, your class, or your religious beliefs. Today you are one country, one people, with one set vision in mind, the vision to succeed. So let us celebrate unity, let us celebrate that although we are different, we are still one. We are the human race, let’s party together!
© Dimitri Lyon and dimitrilyon.wordpress.com, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dimitri Lyon and dimitrilyon.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.