I watched the short clip of the Greco Roman wrestler take his medal off and leave it near the medal stand. He apparently was angry that he took third on a controversial call. Four years ago, he also took third on a controversial. Call. His solution – throw his medal off and walk off.
That one act is a picture of where we seem to be headed as a country and a global community. We want what we want. And if we perceive a slight, we will walk away and abandon whatever it is we subscribed to. He may have even been right. Who knows. But here are a few of my thoughts.
When we walk away, we dishonor those we represent. It can be a persons family or job or organization. Walking away means we won’t tolerate anything other than our way. Burger King was wrong when they taught us that we can have it our way. Sometimes we can, but not always.
When we walk away, we reveal that we didn’t really value the framework under which we agreed to participate. The Olympic committee made the rules and the wrestler agreed to wrestle under those rules, including judges decisions. It’s amazing to see some employees raise their fists and demand their rights, even though when they took their jobs, they agreed to the pay, the position, and the duties.
When we walk away, we drag the spotlight onto our activity rather than have it stay where it belongs, on the athletes and those that excel. History has a way of slowly forgetting winners, but lastingly remembering the sore and sad losers. I still remember the guy who was the long distance ski jumper who fell apart on the wide world of sports promo.
When we walk away, we leave a tough legacy ahead of us rather than making a path for the next person to follow us.
So here’s the question – what should we not walk away from?