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The FiFA World Cup is a great opportunity to watch how life of each team unfolds and folds.  As you may know, 200 countries participate in qualifying matches and only 32 team enters into the FIFA World Cup. During the matches, each team has to show its skills, clinical abilities, and physical endurance to be qualified to advance to the next level.

The World Cup has inter-national and multi- generational audience/fans. The rules and principles of football are practiced during a match.  Football/soccer is a communal sport; it is based on teamwork, collaboration, and healthy competition; it promotes respect and good manners during the match.  Sportsmanship is the key to passing on this particular way of playing to the next generation and youngsters.

What is expected to happen in the World Cup is the embodiment of these principles and spirit. The disappointing part of the World Cup 2014 was not seeing this happening and not seeing many great teams with highest qualification to fulfill this expectation.

During the semi- finals matches, as we clearly remember, the host was badly defeated. The path of glory for the winning team was paved at the expense of the gross humiliation and failure of the host team. As I continue reflecting on the semi-final match, I found myself asking the following questions:

  • When do we get enough satisfaction from our winning?
  • What guarantees our winning? Continue fighting until the last minute or having more humanistic attitude towards our opponents or smashing opponents with brutality or taking an understanding position to opponents’ situation? or …. ?
  • When our winning is guaranteed, what do we need to do? Downplay or continue attacking?
  • Is it OK to humiliate one’s dignity when they don’t have skills to combat?
  • When do we need to take intentional actions to allow opponents’ dignity saved?

Nations/countries like people have dignity. We need to be mindful of and guard the dignity. We don’t need to drag each other to the lowest level of negativity when we are winning. The scare left on a nation or a person from the experience of failure is heavily connected to how we treated them when falling. One’s dignity is defined by our dignified actions towards others.  When our actions are not guarding the dignity of others, our winning place will not  be heartfelt.

Happy Possibilities,

Tahereh Barati

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