Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by feeling too much. Sometimes I wish I could just turn down the volume and hang out in some sort of muted version of the real world. I wish that I didn’t care, that I didn’t feel convicted, that I could live in ignorance. Someone somewhere once said that when you know better, you do better. But what are you to do when what you know makes you so overcome with feelings, it’s hard to do much of anything?
Today’s post is a bit out of the ordinary. I don’t really have a purpose for posting except for my heavy heart and need to work through some thoughts.
J and I stayed up past our typical 10:30 p.m. bed time last night to watch the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics in London. We had a good laugh at the bizarre social media circus performance but settled in quietly to watch the Parade of Nations. My mood quickly went from festive to somber.
As Israel marched, NBC commentator Bob Costas remarked on The International Olympic Committee’s refusal to provide a moment of silence at the ceremonies to recognize the 40th anniversary of the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes by a Palestinian terrorist at the 1972 Olympics. Really, IOC? Might it put a damper on the festivities? So does terrorism. Saudi Arabia marches, with women being allowed to participate in the games for the first time. And yet they must walk behind the male athletes and no mention is made of how the country just recently caved to the pressure and agreed to their participation. Not happily, I add. In fact, many Saudi Arabians jumped on Twitter to share their opinions of these women as less than moral for their participation.
As North Korea marches, Costas or perhaps Matt Lauer, mentioned “Dear Leader” and his absurd declarations of athleticism and, furthermore, deity. Done mockingly, perhaps, but I was shocked such outrageous propaganda even made the air. And no mention was made of the Iranian athletes that will not compete against Israel, as they still do not recognize it as a country.
I think the Olympics are good. I think it’s important to set aside our differences and on an even playing field, match pure athleticism. But the amount of attention, energy and money put into the games is shocking considering it is not the world we live in. When there are such blatant human rights violations occurring every day by these same countries waving flags and flashing smiles. But we ignore it. The Olympics do not occur in isolation; the real world continues with war and hate and oppression.
There are terrible things that happen in this world and this is a sad, wicked time in its history. Humans belittling and abusing other humans. But what weighs heaviest on my heart is that we all turn a blind eye. Not just during the Olympics, but all of the time.
I don’t know why, 24 hours after watching the ceremonies, it is still on my mind. I wish I could shrug my shoulders and just watch some beach volleyball. What good is my heavy heart? I can’t change the North Korean government. I can’t give the women of Saudi Arabia equality.
But I can talk to you about it. And maybe you’ll give it a thought. Or at least offer me a bit of reprieve.