Tonight, the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa kicked off. Every four years, the world unites behind the World Cup. Every four years, people around the world tune in their TV screens to the matches being held. Sounds from vuvuzelas echo across the stadium. Children, inspired by the games start to play football. Adults upgrade their TV to HD and buy special packages to watch the action live. It’s an enormous industry.
For several days now, colleagues have been talking about the World cup, the players, the matches. Who will play against whom in the final? Whom do you expect to win? Everyone gets excited.
Even I, who do not know much about football get excited. It doesn’t matter if your country plays in the world cup or not, you can participate.
Events like this inspire me. People from different races, different countries, different walks of life, can all unite together in a game of football. Imagine, while I am sitting here in the comfort of my room, the first match between South Africa and Mexico is being played live on my screen. South Africa just scored a goal and did a little dance.
People in 7 continents across the world are tuning in. All surrounded by different surroundings, all huddled together in front of a little box. Everyone is cheering and rooting for a goal.
For a brief moment millions of people around the world forget about their differences, their hardships and leave their sorrows behind. The World Cup becomes a time for celebration. A Time to be Happy.
If only this could happen more often, the world would be at peace. It’s a time when even leaders around the world become children again and cheer for their favorite team. Egos are set aside for a brief second and we return to being young and happy.
I wonder, why can’t this happen all the time? Are we all just so “intrinsically selfish animals” as Hobbes said in his Leviathon? I guess that is one of life’s many questions. In the meanwhile, happy cheering!