Transforming the Worst to the Best: Is It Really Possible?
I learn a great deal of life lessons by watching sports so when I stayed glued to the TV for nearly two during the Olympics, there was one moment that struck me. The finals in the men’s basketball game was between the USA and Spain. Spain played a magnificent game and made it close during the whole contest, but in the end they lost to the US team. When the game was over Kobe Bryant, one of the US stars, hugged the star of the other team, Pau Gasol. It was a great moment that two rivals could at the end of hard fought competition embrace. Outside of the Olympics the two play for the same professional team, the Los Angeles Lakers, so they no doubt already have a great friendship. But when you see players from the opposite teams hugging each other at the end of a game, you have to believe that we have been through a huge transformation without being aware of it.
There is the mandatory handshake of course, for sportsmanship, but an embrace is a kind of recognition, that though we are rivals and the competition is intense, in the end we respect and admire each other. When the decathlon and heptathlon events are completed after two full days of competing, all of the athletes embrace and then take a victory lap together around the field. There is the gold medal winner, which is what the world wants to see, but there is also a great feeling of love between the athletes that transcends the old boundaries. We don’t choose our countries of birth, but we do have a choice about embracing change and knocking down old beliefs and old patterns.
So when you find the worst thing about yourself, you can be change it into the very best quality, by first believing that it is possible. Who would have believed in the 19th Century that a descendant of a slave would be the most recognized person in China, Kobe Bryant. And who could have also believed that a white person would embrace him as a brother? It has happened and we have lived to see it. If a descendant of a slave can rise to be the most recognized person in a country of 1 billion people, then what can we do?
It is a staggering question?