Are You Game For Life?
I must confess, I spent more time in the sports room and library than in any classroom. The teachers will not like what I am saying, but I think the sports room and library made a big difference for me. One gave me an agile body, and another gave me an agile mind. The body may not be so agile anymore, but it is good enough to beat you champions!
Playing Life to the Fullest
I want you to see sport not as just a game or one more discipline, but about becoming a sport for life – you are willing to play life to the fullest. The game is not just badminton, table tennis or volleyball. Living in this world is a game. Whatever we do is a certain kind of game. Education also is a certain kind of game. How good or bad you are is not the issue. It is the intensity of involvement. If you are fully involved, you will see it is enriching.
The simplest things become great because someone threw themselves into it absolutely. It does not matter what one may choose, if you put everything you have into whatever you are doing, it is great. What is the big deal in hitting or kicking a ball? But the entire world sits up and watches when someone does it – not because of the ball or the goal – simply because someone is throwing himself into it like his life depends on it. It does not matter how good or bad you are at it, you cannot ever play a game halfheartedly. You know you can do education halfheartedly! But you cannot play a game halfheartedly.
Intensity of Involvement
I want you to use sport to bring that sense of intensity of involvement. Whatever the hell is happening in our life, we are involved. You are in the school – involved. You go home – involved. You are playing a game – involved. Even if you just sit and breathe, the life that you are is absolutely involved. If you bring this intensity of involvement into every aspect of your life, it does not matter what you choose to do – life will be great.
And you cannot play a game without rules. It is the rules of the game that make the game. If you say, “I don’t like this rule,” you are clearly saying you do not like the game. If you understand it is the rules that make the game and you play it to the hilt, every game is a fantastic game.
And I give you this assurance – I do not know whether you will pass your eleventh or twelfth standard, but all of you, when the time is up, one day you shall pass! I have revealed a great secret to you – there is no need for fear of failure! Do you think it ever happened that because you did not do life properly, they detained you? That never happened. Anyway we are going to pass, so let us do it well.
Editor’s Note: On Dec 9, 2018, Isha Foundation will conduct Isha Gramotsavam, an annual celebration of sport and rural spirit, that will draw 40,000 players from thousands of villages in southern India. Find out more.