Football, Family Sacrifice, and Faith

As stated in a previous post it turns out that I am, well, obsessed with podcasts (see: My Obsession with Podcasts). Below are a few stories that recently caught my attention, ignited a deep passion in me, and really got me thinking.

Enjoy!
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radiolab

Radiolab from WNYC
Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.

Episode: American Football (1hr 15min)
Today, we tackle football. It’s the most popular sport in the US, shining a sometimes harsh light on so much of what we have been, what we are, and what we hope to be. Savage, creative, brutal and balletic, whether you love it or loathe it … it’s a touchstone of the American identity. Along with conflicted parents and players and coaches who aren’t sure if the game will survive, we take a deep dive into the surprising history of how the game came to be. At the end of the 19th century, football is a nascent and nasty sport. The sons of the most powerful men in the country are literally knocking themselves out to win these gladiatorial battles. But then the Carlisle Indian School, formed in 1879 to assimilate the children and grandchildren of the Native American men who fought the final Plains Wars, fields the most American team of all. The kids at Carlisle took the field to face off against a new world that was destroying theirs, and along the way, they changed the fundamentals of football forever. 

Germane Selection(s)

We do not deprecate physical development, for the sound mind should work through a sound body, but We think that the people of the West are too much concerned with mere physical development. They forget the need of spiritual development … Man thinks too much of perfecting the body … but of what use is it to him without the perfecting of the spirit? No matter how much he develops his muscles and sinews he will never become as strong as the ox, as brave as the lion or as big as the elephant! Physically he is an animal, yet inferior to the animals, for animals acquire their sustenance with the greatest ease, whereas man has to toil incessantly, to labour with infinite pain, for a mere livelihood. So, in the physical realm, the beast is nobler than man. But man is distinguished from the beast by his spiritual gifts and these he should develop with the other, both together. There should be the perfect balance, the spiritual and the physical. A man whose ideal side only is developed is also imperfect. We do not deprecate comfort. If I could find a better house than this I would certainly move into it. But man should not think of comfort alone.”
~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Diary of Juliet Thompson, pp. 341-343

 

radiolab

Radiolab from WNYC
Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.

Episode: Gray’s Donation (25min)
A donation leads Sarah and Ross Gray to places we rarely get a chance to see. In this surprising journey, they gain a view of science that is redemptive, fussy facts that are tender, and parts of a loved one that add up to something unexpected. Before he was even born, Sarah and Ross knew that their son Thomas wouldn’t live long. But as they let go of him, they made a decision that reverberated through a world that they never bothered to think about. Years later, after a couple awkward phone calls and an unexpected family road trip, they managed to meet the people and places for whom Thomas’ short life was an altogether different kind of gift.

Germane Selection(s)

As long as there will be life on earth, there will be also suffering, in various forms and degrees. But suffering, although an inescapable reality, can nevertheless be utilized as a means for the attainment of happiness. This is the interpretation given to it by all the Prophets and saints, who, in the midst of severe tests and trials, felt happy and joyous and experienced what is best and holiest in life. Suffering is both a reminder and a guide. It stimulates us to better adapt ourselves to our environmental conditions, and thus leads the way to self-improvement. In every suffering one can find a meaning and a wisdom. But it is not always easy to find the secret of that wisdom. It is sometimes only when all our suffering has passed that we become aware of its usefulness. What man considers to be evil turns often to be a cause of infinite blessings. And this is due to his desire to know more than he can. God’s wisdom is, indeed, inscrutable to us all, and it is no use pushing too far trying to discover that which shall always remain a mystery to our mind.
~From a letter dated 29 May 1935 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, published in Unfolding Destiny pp. 434-435

 

© Adam Lugsch-Tehle 2010-2015

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