By Brinkley Warren
I wish that the spirit of the Olympics becomes our collective waking reality — that the mythology that plays out every two years could permeate the planet in totality, and forever. The Olympics bring us together around a fantastic narrative — one of human performance, sportsmanship, acceptance, peace, tolerance, gratitude, and above all — grace and glory.
I shed a tear at least once every Olympics. Each of us I think has our own personal moment while experiencing the Olympics — it begins as sweaty palms as the cheers grow louder at the starting line — that feeling that we witness, the clarity of our own heart pounding as an athlete races for glory, striving against their competitors, but mostly striving against themselves — we watch and experience the joy and excitement of the close finish, a group of athletes going toe to toe and showcasing historical moments of human performance and human achievement.
The Olympics, although an outward spectacle, is actually a representation of our inner-drive, we are watching not only the outer-engineering, but the inner-engineering of human progress in action. It is the synch and harmony between the inner-engineering and the outer-engineering that hooks us almost subconsciously, and enthralls us so deeply. We begin to feel the weight of being a part of such a broad collective experience — knowing that simply by watching and cheering the spectacle, you are a part of it; you realize that all of us are athletes, each of us striving to go beyond our own limits, stretching to accomplish our own dreams and fulfill our own destines, each of us with our own grace and our own glory. The feeling of national pride then kicks in — and we give in to its hypnotic tug, never forgetting the respect we share with all of the other athletes in competition, and thus — all of the other societies; but being proud of our roots and our regional traditions. Proud to be an American, or a Canadian, or a Russian.
It is at the finish line, and often on the podium where I see only an Olympic athlete — regardless of race or nationality — I see an Olympic athlete become overwhelmed by the realization of their accomplishment; it is during these moments where I typically give in to the emotional swells. It is because during these moments we can all live vicariously in the proud, warm, and smiling faces of the champions, and in the tears of the victorious, and the fallen. We feel for their struggle, we cheer for them for overcoming it — but mainly we cheer them for trying; and as they shed a tear, we all share in it. We have an inate need to seek harmony and transcendence, and the Olympics prove it — it is this type of global myth which helps us realize that we are not alone in our striving and our suffering, in our grace and in our glory — but rather, we are altogether immersed in a global collective experience that is tuning our inner-engineering; aligning ourselves to ourselves, and to each other — it is the spirit of the flame that lives in all of us that we love to watch and cheer for.
The Olympics is a spectacle of spectacles. A global myth in the making. The Olympics are powerful because of the magic that this type of universal myth can wield in our hearts and our minds. The Olympics gives people from diverse backgrounds and nationalities a common experience that exercises peace, freedom, joy, acceptance, camaraderie, grace, glory, and achievement all rolled into one.
If only we could parlay this narrative into our everyday existence. Imagine if this magic could live with us on a daily basis, showing humanity rising above and beyond itself in universal Olympic values — basking in such values. Teaching these values to kids and parents everywhere, everyday and in every way; striving to be our best representations of ourselves. Being love in action.
The Olympics is our great Culture-Maker of the future utopian ideals that we all share — every single human on the planet regardless of race or creed or gender. It is about eternal striving of the human spirit, about life in passing, about mutual existence and mutual experience, it is about suffering and transcendence and youth — a reminder of what we could be if we are at our best, together. Collaborating with one another in harmony, collective-organization, the allowance for synergy to make us better as individuals and as communities. Celebrating uniqueness, celebrating openness, celebrating transcendence.
The Olympics is a chance for human society to swarm to different unique collective-experiences. We see the clowns and the flying machine opera sung by a Russian musician one year, and the Korean ice ballet the next year — the Australian children’s choir one year, and the English children’s choir 2 years later.
What if this these Olympic ideals could pervade our global culture, including in the hearts and minds of those in developing countries, in every community no matter how isolated or belligerent, or corrupt. Imagine if we achieve this. What if the Congo could host the Olympics, wouldn’t the World be a better place for it? What if the Olympics happened every year, wouldn’t that be fun?
What is sure is that we should all be striving for more Olympics, for more inclusiveness, for the spread of the Olympic myth into the hearts and minds of children everywhere. This is what I believe. A spectacle of spectacles is how we can begin to exercise our great hive-abilities, to flex our collective creative muscle in ways that produce positive impact for all of the individuals who comprise our global society.
Sports are vehicles for massive transformative impact because they are storytelling machines — they are not a single, closed-loop narrative; but rather they are open-ended mythmaking technologies — the ultimate human spectacle.
To me, the Olympics gives us great hope; the hope for a future where the human spirit is soaring. What can endure is a patriotic and open global culture that is united in peace, tolerance, and the promise of a global Olympic society. What shall we call it, shall we call it by a name?
It is the soul of humanity in action, of grace and glory. The Olympics. The striving human spirit. Sports are, a narrative of personal struggle and achievement. This is the ultimate human story, and for each generation, there is another International Olympic Games.