I’m not a sports fan, but I really enjoy the Olympics. One of the things I love is the way the crowd supports every single accomplishment. Yesterday I watched the end of the cross-country skiing event. As the 42nd person, the 54th person, and the person who straggled in last entered the arena and then crossed the finish line, each experienced a loud cheer. I love that. Yes, the winner got the biggest round of applause. Hometown skiers got the rowdiest cheers. That’s to be expected. But, there was no pity applause. Every competitor gave their best, so every competitor received accolades.
The Olympics are about competition, but they’re also about reaching a personal best. That’s probably what I respond to most. I love it when someone achieves a goal. I rejoice with little ones who learn to tie their shoes. I rejoice with teens who finally got a good grade, made the team, or got their license. I rejoice with adults who reach a weight goal, jump a hurdle, or reach a milestone. In helping others celebrate, I get to share in their joy.
Too often I’ve seen people respond to success with jealousy. They envy others’ achievement. That’s so very sad. When we help others celebrate we make ourselves better. And, when we make ourselves better, the crowd goes wild.