Lately, as a means of entertainment, I have taken to watching the World Cup soccer tournament. I am not a sports aficionado, but I enjoy the fact that the people shown on the screen are actually doing something that they are willing to pour their hearts into. Those guys can do things with their feet that most people I know couldn't do with their hands.
The rest of television seems to be populated either by women with breasts who own or are about to purchase something and whose vocabulary consists entirely of the variously-accented phrase, "Oh ... my ... God!" or by men with glistening teeth, spiked hair, a vast sense of their own magnetism, and an advanced degree in how not to shave. And then, of course, there is the canned laughter to flavor the mix. I can understand that someone might take such people seriously. I just don't happen to be one of them...and do wonder what such people see when they look in the mirror.
On the soccer field, there is life, however slow the game. With the exception of some garish falls designed to penalize the other team, there is no time for faking. These are not actors or pretenders. Based on some of the close-up's of players' faces, there also seem to be as many ways to say "Shit!" as there are languages in the tournament. And in the run-up to the tournament, I heard a radio show in which someone was saying that scoring a goal was orgasmic -- in line with the ineffable woo-hoo that goes with sex -- and that players had to be warned not to kiss eachother in delight. This is no-screwin'-around stuff.
How nice it is to see something serious, even if I am not serious about it. It is like watching a child trying to draw a picture of a car -- that sense of complete concentration and a devotion that is willing to stake the farm on things. In Japan, I have heard, there are celebrations of great military adventures that failed and I imagine, but don't know, that it is because success and failure, while interesting, cannot hold a candle to a complete effort.
No holding back.
Win, lose or draw ... go for it!
Thought, word and deed ... nothing in reserve. No more canned-laughter safety nets. No more posing.
Just this once....