Our love for the professional and victorious athletes continues to follow us all the way from ancient Greek times. And make no mistake, it is not the professionalism, but the glory that we enjoy. People completely alter their appearance and character when attending their favorite sporting event and cheering for their most loved competitor.
If people gave 1/10th the enthusiasm toward actual problems in our country as they do to football, we'd be in much better shape. But for some reason, people don't want to take on the hard things in life, and so sports provide a literal escape from reality. People can forget for a time. This is both beneficial and destructive when taken to the extreme.
We all need a break from time to time, but ignoring life can eventually lead to outright delusion. Ancient Rome had this same problem. People ended up caring more about Games than actually running the State. It's one of the reasons the Empire fell.
But the ancient Greeks were more moderate and reasonable with their love of Games. They were indeed important and even religious activities, but they did not constitute the whole or even the daily life of the people and their societies. They were largely part of the religious events of the day or festival, but the winners, especially those of the Olympics, could expect lavish reward, even including a pension.
Of course, it was nothing like what athletes are given today, salaries that would be considered a ridiculous amount, especially given the fact that millions of Americans live in poverty, and 333 million children worldwide wake up every day in impoverishment. That's more than the entire population of the United States of America.
I do think exceptional athletes, as in ancient times, deserve a place of honor in the State. They go through many years of hard training, sacrifice, pain, injury and dedication so that they can reach the glory that they so desire, for themselves, their team, and their people. They reach status that most other people probably could not, and for their success and service, they deserve recognition and a pension. I do not, however, think that any athlete deserves a salary of 50 million dollars a year, or even in a lifetime.
I also feel that major Games, such as the Olympics, have lost their meaning. The Games were created to honor Zeus, King of all Gods. In short, they are religious and spiritual events that recognize and revere the Higher Powers, and acknowledge our own proper and unique place in life as human beings. But today, the sacredness is literally all gone. In my view, it's been reduced to mere competition of one person trying to outdo the other, and there is no understanding whatsoever of our humanity and the blessed abilities that have been bestowed upon us by the Gods.
Not only do we pay athletes too much money, but the money and the mortal basically become the gods of the Games. The Olympics are losing their former glory. Viewership of the Olympics dropped by 40% worldwide during the last cycle. Even football, one of America's most loved past times, has experienced a drop in popularity by about 1 million viewers.
There was a time when people were excited to love and impress Divinity and one another. When something is reduced to the mere rudimentary, the nature of it is to whither. But the Gods never whither or die. Everything about them is eternal and ongoing. That's probably one of the reasons the Greeks centered everything around their Gods. I'm not saying athletes should be forced into Hellenism or any kind of worship. I'm saying that larger meaning, something more than just self, is what will maintain everything, even ourselves.
In the Goodness of the Gods,
I'll see you at the next Herm down the road,
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