Game of Life

Just a few hours to go and millions across the globe, in spite of many limitations—geographical boundaries, political divisions, economic struggle and social concerns—nothing it seems could daunt their enthusiasm for the coming FIFA World Cup 2006. The keen interest been generated by this mega event is expected to have a spell bound effect and this impact through the next month or so needs to be tapped into something positive, drawing from the goodwill that sports can create. Given that soccer is the most popular sports among the Nagas, it is hoped that the soccer event will be able to provide freshness to the mind and a new positive outlook to problems at hand, whether it is the present climate of fear and anxiety or the many other things left unresolved.

Since Nagas are a sports loving community and because soccer is something that unifies the people, the FIFA games over the days ahead should hopefully inculcate a spirit of sportsmanship, honesty, punctuality, team spirit, leadership and obedience among the many who would be following the game. The world cup should be seen as a time for both entertainment and educating on the morals of life. While it should relax the mind, the game should also make us disciplined citizens and provide us a good training for playing the game of life with ‘sportsmanship’. 

While winning is important, at the end however it is not how one wins or loses a game but rather how one have played the game. This raises the question of fairness, honesty in everyday life. As such, a major sporting event such as the FIFA World Cup is also a time to learn the game of obedience and educating ourselves about the need of respecting authority, whether legal or otherwise. Football teaches us obedience to the call of the referee or the captain of the team. Similarly, if one plays a foul game one is disciplined. Put simply, even in sports, nothing is more important than learning to be accountable for one’s action. Each player remains accountable to their teammates, captain, coach, management, fans and ultimately to the club or country they represent. There is a great lesson to be learned whether as a student, administrator, teacher or a political leader. 

To be responsible individuals, it is also an opportunity to learn the game of self-control. A sportsman is expected to be always level headed, cool, tolerant and courteous. When indiscipline among the youth is on the rise, much inspiration has to be drawn from such qualities expected of a sportsperson. Likewise soccer is as much a team game as it is made up of individual skills and talent. As there is no substitute for hard work, similarly a game can hardly be won by depending only on individual brilliance. It is the spirit of the team and the cooperation that goes with it, which becomes the recipe for victory. A nation and its people who cannot learn to work together can likewise be denied of victory. At the end, as the FIFA slogan: it has to be “For the good of the game”. This is as much applicable in life as it is in a game of sports.