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Hassan H

Yunus Social Business

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Sport as a school of life: What Values, Virtues and Principles Sports teach us ?

Dear TED Family,

I often talk about how Sport is the perfect environment to develop some of life’s most needed skills.

I wanted to take this opportunity to ask you about how Sports helped you to develop positive inner strength, enhance Human qualities and reinforce social bounds.

I am looking forward to hearing your stories and lessons learned !


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  • Nov 16 2013: Sports are a fantastic metaphor for life and an incredibly useful place to talk about life lessons. I use them in my field of teaching on a regular basis. They teach success and failure, persistance, tolerance, and the value of hard work. They give real life examples of what it is that we as a society should be working towards at its best.

    However, I have also been talking with friends about the deaths in teenage athletes in American Football and the growing number of examples of cheating, doping, and win at all costs attitudes that are growing. So, while sports teaches a great number of good stories, there are also many examples of humanity at its worst to be taught through sports.
    • Nov 18 2013: Yup, fantastic metaphor for life: Win at any cost. So long as you win, nobody complains about what else you do. Morals are only for losers--winners get forgiven anything. Sadly, a very accurate metaphor for life.
      • Nov 18 2013: My dad and I discussed this a few years back as I was going into coaching. He told me something that sadly has rung true for far too long.

        People are behind you 100% win or draw.

        If you lose, they don't support you, but if you win, they are 100% behind you, no matter what you do. And this has played out time and again as I watch professional sports, college sports, club sports, and sadly high school and middle school sports.
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        Nov 21 2013: What sports do you personal play or enjoy?
        • Nov 21 2013: Doing: Fencing, archery (badly)
          Watching: "modern" pentathlon, fencing
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        Nov 21 2013: The question asks how these sports activities, fencing, archery, and even watching: "modern" pentathlon, have "helped you to develop positive inner strength, enhance (your) human qualities "

        Answering this might provide for a better commenting experience, and be answering Hassan's question in a more personal, and therefore, meaningful way. .
        • Nov 21 2013: I have far more often seen sport used as a way to stratify people and create an elevated minority. That is the sad reality of sports in the USA. It is primarily in "outsider" sports such as fencing, gymnastics, swimming, etc. that I still see a living legacy of building character over merely winning for its own sake. It's simple: If a sport tends to have to struggle to be funded, it is more likely to be a character builder. If the sport is lavishly funded, with palaces built for its adoration, it is a source of hierarchy and corruption. You do not hear of huge NCAA scandals over college fencers, after all.

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