For most people the Olympics symbolize sportsmanship, prowess, endurance and competitiveness. Indeed, some competitors are expected to “break records” or simply set some new ones. It is fair to say, that as the 2012 Olympics open in London on July 27, the mindset for most spectators and television audiences across the globe will be about medals to be won and records to be set.
Yet, the true character of the Olympics is union or unity more than individual, team or national medals.
From antiquity, when the games began in 776 BCE, they were intended to augment the unity of body, mind and spirit into a balanced whole being.
The games were held every four years at the plains of Olympia and dedicated to the 12 Olympian gods of Greek mythology. As a pan-Hellenic event, the Olympiad brought together participants from every corner of the Greek world. The central element was unity – politically and spiritually.
The human race will be united in London during the Olympics – men and women, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus and more. An Afghan woman will be one of the sprinters – in her traditional head cover. In an interview she conceded she was not expecting to win medals. It is unity that matters.
With so much negativity and sad news on television these days, watching the Olympics in the right mindset will go a long way in boosting happiness.