The end of the World Cup had undoubtedly brought relief for many, among the benefits, no more football on Facebook day in, day out, especially for non-football fans. So, thankfully, we can put that behind us and move on towards other things. Unfortunately, these days, headlines are dominated by gruesome images coming from a certain part of the world that have sparked outrage but at the same time, a quality that many of us have thought gone.
Onwards to Russia
It is with much relief that people who have absolutely no interest in football welcome the end of the FIFA World Cup. For a whole month, we have been unwilling followers of the ups and downs of matches. We have had to bear endless analyses of friends who had to put up their expertise as Facebook statuses, even had to read violent exchanges all because of ‘the beautiful game’. What had this World Cup taught us? For starters, football can generate a passion beyond comprehension, friends can launch into endless arguments, online and offline. Unwillingly, just like advertisements, via Facebook, many of us have been exposed to the daily grinds, without really wanting to, that some images have travelled the world within seconds. We have also learnt that creativity resides in every one of us, especially when it comes to adapting day-to-day happenings to cartoons or GIFs and some very sassy one-liners.
While a minority breathes a sigh of relief, the majority are now turning their attention towards Russia, which will host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In four years’ time, other tools will probably be there to make the event a global business even more.
Tears and Desolation
While Brazil starts the big clean up, and Germany takes the Cup home, Palestine and Israel make for desolate views. Videos and photos are being widely circulated and nobody can escape the massacre that is happening. It is unfortunate to observe that in the midst of power struggles and sectarian violence, human life has become so cheap. Lives are being changed forever, children are becoming orphans every minute, adults are losing the privilege of being parents, people altogether are being displaced.
It is however, an opportunity, for all of us, to go beyond taking sides, to go beyond condemning who is right and who is not. It is an opportunity to rally as humans, for we are all humans, and such gruesome suffering touch us to our cores because we are capable of empathy. It’s the time to come together to pray, to wake up, see the atrocities being committed against the most vulnerable and innocent, to decide what kind of human beings we want to be and what kind of world we want to leave for our children.
It is also the opportunity to teach our children histories of the world and to show them that they should see the world with eyes wide open, that they might be in a cocoon here but elsewhere life is hard, beyond imagination. While certain videos are almost unbearable to watch, we still need to watch them, because we need to remind ourselves that we are not the centre of the world, and that we should be thankful for what we have, also to remind us what we should not become. We pray for peace to prevail, for children to find the courage to go through life, for parents to find resilience, for leaders to see beyond their noses and consider the lives they are so carelessly taking in their bid for power.