FIFA World Cup

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 6/14/18

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off tonight with a match between Russia and Saudi Arabia, starting a month of wins and losses, ending with a single team from a single country declared the world’s football champion.

Undoubtedly, it’s a month of sheer joy and excitement for many millions around the world, sitting in front of their plasma TVs with a beer in their hand. I remember when taking walks near Ramat Gan football stadium with my teacher, the Rabash, he used to say it’s a respectable place since it gives people a sense of joy and gratitude in life.

So for a month, the world cup adds a globally conscious atmosphere to humanity, helping all people across the globe feel somewhat connected, while they are all glued to their screens as one.

But outside the stadium and farther from the cameras, the dark side of this event goes rampant. Drugs, gambling, and mafia all play a role behind the scenes. Hostility, racism, and extreme violence among hooligans is also happening. And don’t forget the billions of dollars involved, along with advertisers, agents, politicians, and a lot of corruption.

Thus, just as the world cup brings humanity together, it also reflects all of humanity’s banes.

If we truly want this event to do good for humanity, the first thing to do is take the profit motive out it. For instance, by directing the proceeds toward social causes, such as helping the needy, medicine, or education.

But there’s also hostility built into the competition itself. They say it started in ancient Greece with the aim of connection between countries, but I don’t see that this is the goal it serves today.

Ideally, our sports should employ positive competition to foster a greater sense of unity in both players and spectators, through demonstrating connection and practicing collaboration. It should be a highly educational experience.

For instance, what if teams were given a ball and their goal was to keep it in the air, dynamically passing it between all players? What if the crowd was cheering to a collective global success, rather than the triumph of their nation over others?

If we went ahead and developed this new kind of sports, we’d score some major points for global unity as well.

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