Not the victory but the action;
Not the goal but the game;
In the deed the glory.
~ Hartley Burr Alexander, inscription on the southwest tower of Memorial Stadium
I love playing sports. So many of the lessons learned from them can be paralleled with lessons in life. For this reason, I felt it proper to look at ourselves–what we are responsible for in life and what we are becoming–from the aspect of athletics. Sports are a great way to build character. And here, the message from Hartley is clear–our lives are defined by our actions, or lack thereof.
Do I honor the actions of others and myself? In hockey, the effort I display determines if I succeed or not. The same goes for life–it is not through victory that we succeed, it is through the effort and the work ethic we put forth.
Do I honor the game? Just being able to participate in sports deserves my highest respect. For it is not about me–the game has a greater purpose than I do–it is about the sport. It is also about the team–about camaraderie, brotherhood, and goodwill. And it is about making a positive difference in life.
Do I see the glory in the deed? The highest honor of life is our selfless action–our distinguished service for a cause greater than our self. The good that I spread throughout this Earth will glorify my life more than any other means possible.
Our time on this Earth is extremely valuable–whatever actions we commit ourselves to today will define us tomorrow. So what choices will you make today? Will they bring glory and honor to your life?
Commit yourself to doing three good deeds for others today.
Questions to consider:
What kinds of actions can you take today to help you to grow as a person?
What kinds of actions did you shy away from yesterday? Why?
Think of the people you know who are at peace with themselves, and satisfied with life. Were they born that way? What kinds of actions might they have taken in their pasts to become this way?
For further thought:
“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt