Let me first be clear. I am not opposed to non-pugilistic sports of any kind. Indeed, nations should continue their internal and international games. It is a superb way for societies to interact.
As Important as I feel sports to be, however, they should not be our highest priority.
To put things into prospective, the Sao Paulo’s Itaquerão stadium, home to the 2014 World Cup games, was built at the cost to the citizens for $350-million.
Residents in the area say that their taxes rose between 20 and 35 percent. A short distance from this beautiful stadium live about 4,800 homeless people, (men, women, and children).
The Brazilian sports newspaper Lance called Brazil’s loss to their team’s bid to win the soccer World Cup, “the biggest shame in history.” Really? Brazil’s biggest shame in history? How about the rampant, abject poverty in Brazil? No shame there?
Indifference to poverty in any country is a disgrace, and most, if not all countries have an overabundance of it–including the USA.
All societies should be judged by how they treat the least of their citizens. In the USA, there is an ever widening gap between the wealthy and the poor, and conservatives, who claim to be “family values” Christians, are fighting fang and claw to keep it that way.
Arrogance (self aggrandizement) and indifference fuel poverty and war. It seem the world has at least another millennium to go before it gets its priorities in proper order.
Most of us judge ourselves in comparison to others in society. It’s natural do do so. We can see that we are financially better off than many, but not as financially secure as others. Yet our focus is mainly on ourselves–our position in society relative to those with greater wealth.
Should we not be more concerned with those who have little or nothing? No one wants to live in abject poverty. Would it not be a greater good if everyone worked for the benefit of others? This view, of course, is considered naive by many, and indeed it is, given our present day world with its attitudes of dominance, profit, and self righteousness. But we have slowly advanced from where we’ve been in history. There are, today, more of us who can see the benefits of universal empathy. There are more of us who do unto others as we would have them do unto us. In time, there will be many more. We can only hope humanity survives to see the world we envision.
— Max T. Furr is author of The Empathy Imperative, a philosophical novel based on the epic struggle between religion and science, and brings the true nature of justice, mercy, and love into sharp focus. What would the world be like if empathy, not self interest, were our primary motivating force?