Last week, athletes from around the world joined together in Tokyo Japan to wave their nations’ flags in representation of their home countries during the opening ceremonies of the 32nd Olympic Summer Games. For generations, top competitors from across a range of sport have come together to not only compete for gold medals but to stand together on the world’s biggest stage. On a global scale, the Olympics have come to represent peace and unity amongst mankind. The games are a chance to put differences aside and embrace civility through strength, in order to demonstrate that we are never that far apart.
These Olympics might seem a bit more special than any other in recent memory. After a postponement due to the global pandemic, the 2021 games serve as a subtle reminder that human empowerment—and even existence—comes from shared purpose through shared effort. Over the past year, we were all reminded of just how fragile our collective and individual worlds can become. However, when people from all walks of life join together, great things come about.
At the center of the games and this philosophy, burns the Olympic Flame. Reintroduced during the 1928 Summer Olympics the same flame has been kept burning continually for nearly 100 years. This symbolic gesture of brotherhood is meant to connect past, present, and future generations to this shared ideology—that we are never alone when we stand together. Long after our attentions fade and global moments are placed aside, the flame burns on tended to by a dedicated few that keep this belief alive.
Similarly, the inferno of the human spirit burns strong in the passions of those that seek to change the world. Like the Olympic Flame, there are those amongst us who dedicate themselves year after year to bringing the world a bit closer together every day. This Olympic season, take a moment to look past the medal counts and beyond the championship moments. In generations gone by, people just like you from all walks of life have sacrificed something of themselves to build a better tomorrow for others. Dare to ask yourself, what can you do to connect others together through shared purpose. What will you do to keep the Olympic spirit alive long after the moment has passed?
“To become a true global citizen, one must abandon all notions of otherness and instead embrace togetherness.“Suzy Kassem
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