Integrity is always golden – Trinidad and Tobago News Daily


Integrity is always golden – Trinidad and Tobago News Daily
Dr. Gabriel Jameela Hussain –

Dr. Gabriel Jameela Hussain

Through our children, parents learn a lot. For example, Ziya has just started training for a triathlon, less than two months ago, and it’s been a steep learning curve for me. A bookish person who spent his teenage years reading and his twenties performing poetry and feminist organizing, sports is like learning a foreign language with different written texts.

Whether it’s shoelaces or bike sizes, or even what materials work best, I know zero. Suddenly, I was surrounded by seasoned athletes who had been competing since they were teenagers, or coaches who probably thought my most basic questions were obvious knowledge that anyone should have.

One thing that is reassuring, however, is the TT people who come together in sports. People who offer advice you didn’t even know you needed, people who invest in your kids’ confidence and fun in addition to getting them to excel.

In a society like ours that often feels morally bankrupt, especially at the top, I am a latecomer who has discovered a space—beyond the feminist and social justice spaces I have known for 30 years—that values ​​and resolves , friendship-related qualities. , community and excellence. No one is perfect, but everyone has a common moral foundation. Some issues are complex, but it’s usually clear what is unfair, unfair, or right and wrong.

Sports have always been like this, with not just the best athletes but the best characters and teams shining through and setting examples for others to follow. Children learn to aim to become champions but also to cope with losing in one competition or another because in life you cannot win every battle but still have to do so with dignity, generosity, humanity and grace way to behave.

Consider Serena Williams’ fear that a referee might think she – one of the greatest athletes of all time – was cheating during a competition. Think of Gianmarco Tamberi and Mutaz Barshim, who agreed to share a gold medal at Tokyo 2020 rather than compete in the play-offs. Their Olympic slogan is: Faster, Higher, Stronger, United.

Although it’s still early days, I’m also beginning to discover the dark side of sports. The truth is, wherever there are power and positions to be fought for, hierarchies to be established, and inequalities to exist, even among children and schools, everything we do will be plagued by the dark side of humanity.

We should all be familiar with this. We live in a society that focuses on who you know, which chapter you belong to (if you’re male), which political party you support, your last name, or whether you have better access to opportunities than others. Consider how national gymnast Thema Williams successfully fought in court the “prejudicial and flawed” decision by the TT Gymnastics Federation to withdraw her from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Sports shape the rest of children’s lives, and if it’s a space with poor team principles, callous and divisive behavior in adulthood becomes normalized, whether among the poorest or the richest in town.

Therefore, sportsmanship will be crucial in turning around our decline in the TT race. Here you can be both unethical and a poor choice, but be sent back to the board because the conspiracy protects your position.

People start taking top positions or getting shortlisted regardless of how they got there, how they behaved there, who they bullied or oppressed to keep that position, or who they excluded or viewed as “lone wolves” to frustrate adults or see Looks too much like a threatening child.

What makes this happen and perpetuate it is the complicity of others. Those who should know better, instead find excuses, justifications, technicalities, friendships, or suddenly invented rules to decenter the moral compass of a community or a nation.

Shameless behavior occurs because those in the know choose to remain silent when faced with something that is not true; perhaps because they benefit, are intimidated by a more dominant personality, or because there is no way to click once you challenge Everywhere to go.

Position, whether in politics, country or a sports podium, is considered a victory, but it must be honorable, otherwise it will always be viewed as a farce by others. Sports have the opportunity to teach children about their highest ideals or their dark side. Schools and teams led by adults are setting lifelong examples and have a responsibility to teach the right things.

We’ve arrived now, but Zi must know. Medals are important, but integrity is always gold.

Diary of a childcare worker

Entry 518

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