Life is Just a Game – Don’t Lose Heart, Be Sporting

Sports have become the main source of entertainment for the modern man. Often the sports become more important than merely a game and become a matter of pride and humiliation not for the team but even for the countries. Citizens mourn when their team loses a match and celebrate when the team of their country registers a victory. Often the fans become so emotionally surcharged and involved that they even clash with each other and even kill the supporters of rival teams. It is quite common to find the fans of the opposite teams clashing with each other as if the teams are not playing a game but engaged in a battle of life and death. Bill Shankly, a football (soccer) manager in a chat show said, “Someone said “football is more important than life and death to you” and I said “Listen, it’s more important than that.”

Logically speaking, there should be no reason to get emotionally involved in a game that is played by individual sportsman for the sake of money and for the sake of their own good. After all, game is a game and one must follow sportsmanship while playing a game. Sportsmanship means fair play, courtesy, striving spirit, and grace in losing. One must play the game in the proper spirit of game rather than playing it like a war or a battle. Yet all of us get involved emotionally in our favorite sports as if we are participating in a war.

For a true sportsman, victory and loss are irrelevant and playing is more important than winning or losing. Yet the stakes are now so high for the sportsmen that they stand to lose or gain millions by the outcome of the match. So it is understandable that they play with their heart and soul for victory for the sake of rewards.

Yet why must the spectator get so involved? They are not even playing in the game. They don’t get any financial benefit for winning or losing. They don’t even get the health benefit which a sportsman gets by playing a game. Why do fans get so involved when they are just spectators and nothing else?

We have learned to somehow associate ourselves with one team (often belonging to our country) and wish for its victory at the cost of other. The enjoyment becomes double when the rival team happens to be from an enemy country. Here not only you celebrate the victory of your team but also the loss of the enemy country. However, we also mourn and feel pained when our favorite team loses.

The Logics of Fans

We are all players or spectator of the different games of life. Some time we are players while at others we are fans or spectators. The behavior of people as player or fans is quite predictable. Fans cheer for their country or against an enemy country. If you ask them why they are cheering for their country, they would perhaps feel that the answer is too obvious. After all they are born in the country and their identity revolves around the country. So it becomes their duty to cheer for their country since country’s loss is their loss and country’s victory their victory. Now if you ask a fan to imagine, how he would have cheered, had he would have born in the enemy country? He would find it difficult to answer because he had perhaps never thought in that direction.

This problem is, however, faced by the citizen who migrates from their country of birth to another country. They do not know whom to cheer. On one side is their emotion which is attached to the country of their birth and on the other side is the logical mind that seeks loyally to the country of the citizenship.

Thankfully very few of us are ever exposed to such dilemma and gleefully cheer the teams of our own country. Yet it is not difficult to imagine that if we would have born in the enemy country, perhaps we too would have cheered the enemy country with the same enthusiasm. Thus our justification for support of a team depends on where we are born rather then the merit of the team and the fairness of the battle. We can apply the principle of justice (Let the best team win) only if we are not part of it. If we are associated with any of the team, we want only our team to win, whether it is a better team or not, whether by fair means or foul.

Life is a Game

Why God created this world? What is the goal of our life? Why there are so much suffering in this world? Why people do evil acts? While evil people succeed while good people lose? These are some of the most difficult questions of human life. These questions have been answered by many Gurus, Philosophers and Prophets in different period of time.

Guru Nanak Dev, a great Indian philosophers, who started Sikhism, the youngest religion of the world, said that life is nothing but a game and we are all players. The root of suffering and pleasure is this game of life which arises as we fail to take this game with sportsmanship. He said, สล็อตโจ๊กเกอร์

“One who knows that pain and pleasure are both the same, and honor and dishonor as well; who remains detached from joy and sorrow, realizes the true essence in the world. Renounce both praise and blame; seek instead the state of Nirvaanaa. O servant Nanak, this is such a difficult game; only a few Gurmukhs (who have become spiritual beings) understand it! (sggs 218).”

Which Team Do You Support?

Let us change the paradigm of the world. Imagine for a moment that life is made of many games. All laws and morals are just the rules of the game. You can join any of the two teams. One that is “For” team of the Law and the other is “Against” team of Law. You can also change your team just like a person can change his country or religion.

Let us now visualize some games. The first game is “Don’t Steal”. So if you are in the “For” team, you have to ensure that people “don’t steal”. But if you are on the opposite team, it is your duty to “steal”. It is just like a game of cop and thief.

However, once the game starts, gradually the players develop their faith on the motto of their team. Both have their own philosophy and reason to play. “Don’t Steal” law is made by State to benefit few “rich” people. The rich people would be happy with it because they can accumulate large amount of money and enjoy security of wealth if their team wins. However, the poor people are “Against” the law because it harms them. Even if they die of hunger or shelters, they can’t steal even when few people in the society have horded billions in their account. If stealing would have allowed, they would have acquired wealth simply by stealing from others.

Thus this game, like any other sports, has to be played between the two teams. If you believe in stealing, you become a member of the “Against “team, you would find the people of the For team as enemy as they would arrest you, prosecute you and even kill you. Yet the history of the human race establishes that every time a law is made, two teams “For” and “Against” automatically get created. Most of the people, however, do not “actually” play the game, but belong to one of the team as a supporter or fan.

Similarly, there are so many rules in the world which all starts a new game. There are rules like “Don’t Murder”, “Faithfulness”, Loyalty, Import, Export etc. The violators of these rule are often termed as criminals and they are punished by the State and detested by the civilized people.

We all join the game either as a player or as a spectator. Most often, our choice is based on how we are. For example, if you are a cop, you see all law violators as a criminal. But if you are the poor man, you feel that the cops are criminals. Thus your support belongs not based on the merit but on the basis of your own self.

Maintain Sportsmanship

We are often disturbed by the events in the world when we find that our opposite team or the “evil” forces are winning. Little do we realize that our own concept of right and wrong is based more on emotion and less on reason? We cheer what we think is right not based on any “reason” but based on our “position”.

Logically speaking, all laws are unfair as they benefit some people at the cost of others. Why should there have a law for not stealing and not murdering? Why the wealth of a rich person must not be distributed to poor people, when a civilized society itself is based on the concept of equality? Why should a murderer, a killer, a rapist should not be murdered? Every animal manage it that way. These laws are not always benefited the society. If people are able to commit heinous crime and accumulate billions, it is only because of these laws which are unjust and contrary to the laws of the God and nature.

Thus the battle of For and Against has to be fought and both teams have the right to win. If we have the sportsmanship, we would be just and fair and say that let the best team wins. Yet most of us are just like fans of the individual team, who just wants their team to win. The result is that when the adversely wins we feel disappointed and frustrated as if they have no right to win.

We often forget that even we too are not always in the “For” team. For example, if extramarital affair is immoral and illegal, our support and reason would be different depending upon our own actions. If we have been unfaithful, we have joined “Against” team. Here, we would have many reasons and justifications for our action. Yet if we are “faithful” we are For the law. In reality, none of the two sides are logical and reasonable as both sides base their judgments on the basis of own “position” rather than on the Truths and Facts. Similarly, if you are a judge, journalist, bureaucrat, politician, doctor, scientist or any other profession, even without your conscious knowledge, you have become part of the game and you want victory for their position.

Yet most of the people, instead of viewing the life as a game and inculcating sportsman spirit in them, tend to become quite unsporting and wants only their team to win even when the opposite team is more “deserving”.

The Purpose of Game

It is not without reason that people say that playing is more important than winning or losing. The benefit of the game is in playing. When you play a game say badminton, chess, tennis, you are pitted against a fellow human being. Hence you try your best to win as ample reward is offered by society to the winner. This desire to win gets the best of your mind and body. So a sportsman is physically and mentally stronger and fitters by virtue of playing a game irrespective of the outcome of a game. That is the true purpose of game.

Man is the only animal which plays a game and developed sports. Man is also the only animal who have made rules and laws for their life. These rules forced the man to think more and work more to win in the game so that one can reap the reward reserved for the wining team or player.

Let us look the world from different paradigm. In the world, hundreds of games are always played. Yet the society rewards not only those who play in the “For” team. It also rewards the “against” team if it wins. All great leaders and heroes in the history of the world are often the people, who played from the “Against” team. However, after they won the match, the rule of the game itself was changed as it was found to be unjust. Thus to the modern generation, it appears as if they played in the “For” team. You have to just study the life of Buddha, Christ, Gandhi, Mandela to understand how they defied the laws of the land and changed the course of the history.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *