"Perhaps there is no better laboratory to observe the sin of pride than the world of sports. I have always loved participating in and attending sporting events. But I confess there are times when the lack of civility in sports is embarrassing. How is it that normally kind and compassionate human beings can be so intolerant and filled with hatred toward an opposing team and its fans?
I have watched sports fans vilify and demonize their rivals. They look for any flaw and magnify it. They justify their hatred with broad generalizations and apply them to everyone associated with the other team. When ill fortune afflicts their rival, they rejoice.
Brethren, unfortunately we see today too often the same kind of attitude and behavior spill over into the public discourse of politics, ethnicity, and religion.
My dear brethren of the priesthood, my beloved fellow disciples of the gentle Christ, should we not hold ourselves to a higher standard? As priesthood bearers, we must realize that all of God’s children wear the same jersey. Our team is the brotherhood of man. This mortal life is our playing field. Our goal is to learn to love God and to extend that same love toward our fellowman. We are here to live according to His law and establish the kingdom of God. We are here to build, uplift, treat fairly, and encourage all of Heavenly Father’s children." - Pride and the Priesthood DIETER F. UCHTDORF October 2010
I attend Brigham Young University in Provo, UT as most know where 99% of people who attend belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Our rival school (although now not so sure how long they will be considered a rival) is the University of Utah who has between 50 to 60% LDS students. I never really realized how big of a deal this rivalry was until I was introduced to my husband who is a hard core Utah fan. Since I have been married to him I have noticed the ways both students who attend these schools can be extremely hateful and intolerant about the other school and its students. Coming from Iowa, I grew up having a completely unbiased view to the rivalry. I never understood why these people hated each other so much and especially those who are members of the church. Why would some people hate a school that their own church has funded and established to raise up strong intelligent people? Why would some people who go to a religious school openly hate another just because they don't go to a religious school? It really does not make sense to me at all. I don't understand it and probably won't ever as the rivalry was never instilled in me through out my childhood. I really really loved this talk from Elder Uchtdorf and especially this section about the laboratory of sports. I feel like I can relate to it so well. I'll ask anyone who is reading this... "Should we not hold ourselves to higher standards? We must realize all of God's children wear the same jersey. Our goal really is to learn to love God and to extend that same love toward our fellowman." People say God does not care about sports nor who wins... if that is true, then why do sports make it ok to put our goal aside and have conditions in which fellowmen to love? If God doesn't care about the outcome of sports then I am pretty sure it doesn't matter if the activity involves sports or not. It really is not ok to treat or talk about others poorly just because they go to rivalry schools.
One thing that I really love about my major is all of the things I learn about human behavior. I always mention this but I am a Human Development major and learn A TON about a lot of different types of behavior. One that is pretty dang drilled into my head is aggression. Although I love my major and feel as though it has been one of the largest blessings in my life I sometimes equally feel as though it is a curse because I am extremely analytic of behavior. It just comes as second nature for me. Because of this I feel as though I can really tell when people are being relationally aggressive... which is the curse. But I will come back to why in a second.
(for those who don't know what relational aggression is, it is behavior that involves name calling, gossiping, ignoring, belittling, manipulating, excluding, ostracizing etc. -- hope you get the point. Girls do this a lot more than boys, typically.)
One of my favorite things I have learned about a way to overcome or not accept relational aggression is DEFENDERS. Defenders are kids on the playground who will stand up to that bully picking on that innocent kid who is all alone. Being a defender is pretty rare but I feel they are extremely valuable in helping those kids who cannot protect themselves. In my opinion (as well as some professors) being a bystander can be almost just as bad as the bully itself.
Anyway, I say it is a curse that I notice relational aggression because since I feel as though I have the skills to recognize rather subtle acts of it, it is so hard for me to sit back and pretend it is ok for someone to treat people that way. It is even harder when it can be a grown adult woman who is picking on younger women as if they were back in the high school lunch room. I have battled this a lot with people who have come into my life. Sometimes I think of advice from high school health classes that tell girls to get out of toxic relationships as fast as possible. No one deserves to be emotionally, physically, or mentally abused... yet when the case is someone who is close to you and you have no option to walk away how do you bare it?
I have been thinking about this a lot in the past year. I have really really struggled this battle of wanting to stand up for what is right and not let a person bully everyone around but it has actually really ended up backfiring and has cost me my own respect for myself.
Now I wonder, is it right to stand up for what is right? Is it really truly right to be that defender or is it better to be the bystander and let others get hurt?
With a lot of console from my husband who has such a different perspective than me (which is such a testament to me as how much we complement each other), he has really helped me understand what it means to be the best person you can be. Although sticking up for what is right at the right moments are necessary at times, you've got to choose your battles and somethings just are not worth the pain that comes from standing up to someone who is the master at relational aggression. Sometimes you just have to be kind and ignore the insults because it will not make a difference what you say anyway. People who are manipulative can turn anything around and make any good person look bad. The important thing is to not let those things they think be true.
I have to admit, those things could be true and that is hard to accept but the only thing that could free me from the guilt and sorrow I have felt from my own behavior is the atonement and forgiveness. I have needed to forgive myself and know that the Lord loves me and His plan is here to allow me to change and become a better person. His atonement is here to let me heal and become better. Although, some people may never accept that you're better and may not even give you a chance to be better, that doesn't matter because you must know the intent of your own heart and your relationship with the Lord. You know what you've been though, where you've gone, and the progress you are at today.
It's been a hard thing for me to overcome because I'll be honest, I care a lot about my relationships with people which means I care a lot about what people think of me. I saw this quote on Pinterest and just thought it was so perfect, at the end of the day I truly believe no matter what it is always better to be kinder than you feel.
In everything Christ did to stand up for people he was always Kind. He is my ultimate example and I really am trying so hard to be more like him.
Sometimes I listen to songs on repeat for HOURS a day because I literally cannot get enough of them.
Does this happen to anyone else?
It has become a serious problem in my life.
Such a big problem that it has interfered with my daily functioning.
I can only do things that I would normally be able to do while listening to music like
looking for things for my sisters wedding, looking for and even contacting apartments in Salt Lake, checking my emails, cleaning a little, looking for birthday presents for Clark online, pinterest, reading blogs, paying bills, uploading pictures, writing blog posts.... everything except the main thing I need to do
Ahhhh this is crazy.
But I love this song so much.
someone please help me... I've lost it.
On another note.. I might as well show you a picture that I uploaded (and edited on paint!.. ya i'm cool, wish I had photoshop... or instagram)
Clark and I voted yesterday and it felt really good.