Yesterday was the anniversary of black Saturday in Victoria. It will now long be remembered as the black Wednesday of sport in Australia.
How did we let our society get to this point? And make no mistake, it might appear to be a sporting problem, but this is a societal problem – a societal creation – due to our intense focus on winning and image. Don’t just blame the sporting culture, it is a societal culture of skewed values that has led to the newly-discovered drug and match/spot fixing scandal in Australian sport. We all need to take a good look at what we value and how we compromise our so-called values every day in favour of easier, quicker results – often for the sake of trying to “look good” in the eyes of others.
I’m not pointing the finger here. I am just as guilty as any other person of compromising my values in order to get some quick-fix result. I work harder than some to confront that, but I fail often.
In our society there is a pull for people to walk the edges of the rules. In many cases it’s considered okay to step past the rules. We’ve all broken some road rule or another. Most of us do it every day, whether it’s consciously or accidentally. But if we consciously break the rules/law in small ways it then becomes easier to break bigger rules. This is how all those involved in drugs in sport and spot/game fixing end up where they are.
Don’t think this is just a sporting problem. You might not take drugs to enhance your performance (oh, except for that little coffee in the morning!), but do you take pens and stationary home from work for private use? Do you use the work phone to regularly make private calls? Do you download pirated movies or music? Oh, sorry, that’s okay because everyone does that. Or is it? Many of these sports people and organisations got into the bind they’re in today because “everyone’s doing it, so it must be okay”.
It’s confronting to all of us to consider our lack of integrity in this way, but if we don’t face ourselves and be brave enough to take ourselves on, then at some stage it will be our Black Wednesday or Friday or Monday – when our house of cards come tumbling down in our marriage, our job or our health.
Without integrity nothing works. A bicycle wheel does not work properly when it’s missing spokes. It lacks integrity. Just as our lives don’t work properly when we are missing “spokes”. So what are you going to do today to improved the integrity of your life? – to tighten up the spokes.
Let’s not spend our days and weeks pointing the finger at those “bad” sports people and all their “reprehensible” decisions. They are just a reflection of us as a society. We can be outraged all we like, but that doesn’t change anything. If we all got really honest with ourselves, where are we letting ourselves down and selling out for the short-term “benefits” over our long-term values.
Where is your integrity out and what steps can you take to get it back in? It’s not a moral thing, it’s a workability thing. We’re all this together.