THE REAL WINNER
You might've seen the unforgettable footage from last weekend's Ohio State Division III track and field meet in the 3,200 meter run where Meghan Vogel, who had already won the 1,600 meter state title, saw a runner ahead of her (Arden McMath) struggling to stay on her feet and acting like she might pass out. Of course, Vogel, who's a terrific athlete and a great competitor, could have just felt bad for her and kept on running. But she didn't. She stopped, lifted her up - and then to the amazement of a wildly cheering crowd - carried her to the finish line...and lifted her over it ahead of herself. Not surprisingly, she's being called a "true hero" and "the very best kind of champion" by everyone from sports fans to the media.
When she was asked why she did it, she said simply, "My mom (who's also her coach) told me to always do the right thing."
There's a lot to be said for "doing the right thing." Especially when "the right thing" doesn't necessarily serve your own best interest (Vogel wasn't in the lead in the 3,200, but she certainly could have made a decent showing) and instead, serves something bigger than you are: an idea, a cause, an ethic...a team. When "winning" isn't as much the point...as furthering the spirit of the game.
Maybe the reason this small act of kindness has captured so many hearts (including the judge's who didn't follow the "rules" about not aiding another runner... and didn't disqualify Vogel) is that we seem to be living in an every-man-for-himself world. And a man - or woman - who takes a different tact, at least momentarily, knocks us out. Listen, times are tough. And many people are so engrossed in driving or protecting their own personal agendas that the idea of risking "looking good" to "do the right thing" is almost unheard of. And in the end where will that take us? No place good, I'm afraid. Because in the end, one can't sustain a company, an institution, a political party, or a country - without from time to time, looking to a larger purpose, a greater commitment... "doing the right thing." Maybe this young woman who followed her instincts and her mom's good counsel will have changed the game for us. Maybe we'll remember. And maybe, when the situation presents itself, we'll follow her lead and be... the real winner.
Take a look at the video if you missed it; or watch it again so you don't forget: click here for video
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