Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly Wednesday blog which replaces my previous Tuesday posts. These blogs will continue to examine pillars of personal excellence and will regularly bring together the worlds of spirituality and sport.
“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good”-1 Corinthians 12: 7
World class talent can be mesmerizing. Arts. Entertainment. Sport. Music. Education. You name it. We are typically amazed and inspired when we see genuine genius or something that closely resembles it. If we are not careful, though, we can sacrifice a greater cause if we are too attached to talent.
This seemed to be the case recently in the National Basketball Association (NBA) when global star and 2016 NBA champion, Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets, was temporarily dropped from his team because of his vaccination stance. He chose not to vaccine. They chose not to pick him.
The Nets wanted wholehearted commitment for the sake of the team. Kyrie’s choice not to vaccinate meant that he could not participate at certain venues that had COVID-19 policies in place. His absence weakened the team since he is an elite basketballer. Courageously, the Nets’ management adopted an unwavering stance in which their unity and harmony were not going to be compromised.
Bold? Commendable? Foolish? What are your views on the Nets’ position? The apostle Paul, quoted above, taught about the primacy of the common good. In the context of the spiritual life of the church in Corinth, Greece, he said that spiritual gifts were divinely distributed with the benefit of the wider group in mind. No personal ego. No selfish ambition. Team first.
Kyrie Irving knows why he has chosen not to vaccinate. I cannot judge him because I am ignorant of his motivation. There may be legitimate reasons behind his decision. However, I am learning from the leaders around him. Sometimes tough decisions have to be made which may hurt one person, but which are done for a bigger cause, a greater good, or as Paul the apostle put it-the common good.
Living by your Values
Make no apologies for living by your values. Just be sure they’re the right ones.
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 now available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.