Watching the Olympics is one of those things that makes you realize just how big the world is –- and how small.
For weeks, the Canadian Media has been hyping “our medal hopefuls”, the local athletes destined to be world beaters and bring back Gold and Glory from London 2012.
What they didn’t tell us was there are 85 other guys from 65 other countries who are just as good or better at each and every sport we were supposed to dominate.
So there’s always disappointment as our athlete comes in 25th or fails to qualify while some guy from someplace you didn’t even know was a country is draped in a flag you’ve never seen, singing an anthem you’ve never heard, chewing on his medal.
There’s so much more to the world than they ever get around to telling you.
And when you see how many people are just as good at something you thought you were special at, it can make you feel tiny and insignificant and even unable to ever make your mark or any difference.
And then the camera goes in for a close-up on that guy who won and you see the emotion and joy and sense of accomplishment on his face and you think, “Hey, I know him. He’s just like me.”
And that makes you feel like you could take on the world just the way he did. Because, well -- he did.
I once had a friend with a government job. Every week he had to go to some presentation or seminar that taught him to make sure all his interactions with the public were politically correct, gender sensitive and racially or sexually unbiased. He hated them.
Because being politically incorrect, gender insensitive or biased just wasn’t who he was and had nothing to do with his job. But he still had to go.
One night we were walking our dogs and he said, “The took us to an Imax movie about the Universe today.” I asked what that had to do with job training. He shrugged. “They do it to make us feel small”.
And staring at the stars, like taking in the spectacle of the Olympic Games can definitely do that.
But it can also make you realize nothing is beyond your grasp. Because many who started out small or came from nothing and nowhere achieved things even they never thought were possible.
Play the first video below with the sound off and the one below it for musical accompaniment. It’s a reminder that no matter how impossibly large the world seems, it’s the same size for all of us.
Enjoy your Sunday.