As most of you must be aware, Tokyo Olympics 2020 just came to an end recently followed by the Paralympics, where the best athletes from all around the globe competed to win the much coveted medals and make their countrymen proud of their heroic efforts and achievements.
When I was a kid, I loved watching the Olympics. So many different events. So many people from all over the world competing. To this day, I am quite an avid follower (although I am hardly a sportsperson myself. Maybe I would be, if being a couch potato was a sport 😂😂). I may not have the time to watch all of it anymore, but I do check the highlights every day. It’s not just the competition that appeals to my heart. Its always been the burning fire in their eyes, the passion to bring all their years of hardwork and dedication to fruition and also some exemplary acts of sportsmanship, friendship and respect for each other. Any form of sports can really teach us a lot about all such virtues which we can learn from and try to inculcate in our own lives, even off the field.
I particularly like reading about the winners and their journey. The many obstacles and hurdles most of them have managed to overcome to come and compete on this global level. Whether it’s physical disabilities, poverty, discrimination, exploitation, racial and gender biases, each one have their own struggles and their own journeys, each of which is absolutely inspirational and really admirable.
During one such reading spree, I came across a very interesting article about a rather bizarre sight quite often seen in the Olympics as well as in other sporting events. It’s called something like ‘Sad Silver Face’ or ‘Sad Silver Syndrome’
In the various pictures taken of the medal winners, it was seen that the Gold and Bronze winners had the brightest smiles while the Silver winners are often seen sulking, brooding or frowning. They have a look of disdain, disappointment, dejection or even anger in some cases. Isn’t it wierd that this person is being awarded the 2nd best position in his/her game and yet somehow they’re not happy or satisfied? And right next to them, is another person, who has achieved lesser (bronze winners) but is still so much happier.
This is because the Silver medalist actually Lost the match to the Gold medal winner. That’s why they look so disappointed. Because in their minds, they keep going over their own mistakes, analysing where they went wrong. They keep wondering how different and wonderful things would be, if the game had ended in their favour. If only they had not made that tiny mistake, if only the opponent had conceded a point. This constant comparison with the one who fared better, really depletes any joy of their own victory. They are so preoccupied with the what ifs, that often times, they don’t value the precious and historic moment that they have actually created for themselves. And hence the ‘Sad Silver Faces’. 🥈😩😖😟😡😭
On the other hand, there are the Bronze medal winners. They achieve a spot on the pedestal by WINNING against their opponent. Unlike the top 2, securing a medal is not guaranteed for them. It’s either a medal or no medal. Either they get to kiss a medal and secure their place in the history of the sports or they go home empty handed with so much regret and disappointment. So when they defeat their opponents to secure the Bronze medal, their happiness understandably knows no bounds. And that’s why they are often seen to be smiling from ear to ear, celebrating and enjoying every moment of it. 🥉😊😄🥳🎉
I guess we can also relate this to our own lives. Its all a matter of perspective. Just like the silver medal winners, most of us are so busy looking and comparing to those that have more than us, that we forget how far we ourselves have come, how much we have achieved. We forget to appreciate what we have and be thankful for all the good in our lives. Constant comparison with someone who has more or has it better, only diminishes the quality of our lives. It takes away from our own accomplishments, contentment, happiness and peace of mind. For the few wise ones who adopt the bronze winner mindset, they will definitely be happier, be more in the moment, savour every minute and celebrate every little accomplishments along the way. Be thankful that at least they came this far.
So, in this race called LIFE, which medal winner do you wanna be? Do tell in the comments. 💖💖