Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly Wednesday blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of spirituality and sport.
“Well meant are the wounds a friend inflicts, but profuse are the kisses of an enemy”-Proverbs 27:6
It has often been said that the one constant thing in life is change. The rapid spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19 has been a sobering reminder of how uncertain life is. Like most sectors, the sports industry has not been spared the impact of the ever-changing pandemic narrative.
During this understandable reemphasis on personal health, something significant recently occurred in English football which could slip under the radar. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal football team standout, was first dropped from the starting team for disciplinary reasons and, shortly thereafter, stripped of the captaincy. To drop one of your best players based on principle is courageous.
What we heard from his manager, Mikel Arteta, were the following words reported by the BBC: “We have made this decision that unfortunately was a really tough one.” BBC also reported that Arteta and Aubameyang spoke in person. No email, no text message, no WhatsApp. This uncomfortable meeting was face-to-face.
Chances are, we have all been on the receiving end of a direct and even painful conversation before. I am not talking about an unwise quarrel or an improper act of harshness but simply someone lovingly calling us higher because they know we can do better and be better. It is the friendly wound cited in Proverbs 27: 6 above.
Those who truly love us are willing to tell us the truth about ourselves, even when it hurts. Some can do so without raising their voice or being condescending. Be grateful for them and become that type of friend for others.
Humbly welcome the frank conversations that come your away. If your attitude is right, you will be better off for it.
If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.