What honour would be in such a victory?


What values do we transfer and according to which values do we live? You see, what is inside will sooner or later come to the surface. Much of what we do and how we do it, depend on the values we have laid down for ourselves. Living according to those values – provided that they are honourable – gives dignity and deep fulfilment.

Katja participated in a cross country bicycle event. Just a few hundred yards before the finishing line, there was a fence. You had to stop, pick up the bike and lift it over the fence. The bicycle of lady that was leading the race by quite a margin got stuck in the fence. Katja that was second at that point stopped at the fence and help the lady to get her bicycle over the fence. Only then she lifted her own bike over the fence. She could have won – but what honour and satisfaction would there be in such a victory?

Kenyan runner Abel Mutai (bronze medalist in the 3000 steeplechases in the August 2012 Olympics) was leading the cross-country race at an event in Burlada, Navarre, in December 2012 when he mistakenly thought he’d crossed the finish line. In fact, he was still 10 meters before the actual finish line. He was confused with the signage and stopped thinking he had completed the race. The Spanish athlete, Ivan Fernandez was right behind him and realizing what was happening, he started shouting at the Kenyan to continue running, but Mutai didn’t know Spanish and didn’t understand. Then the Spanish pushed him to victory. A journalist asked Ivan, “Why did you do that?”

Ivan replied, “My dream is that someday we can have a kind of community life”.

The journalist insisted “But why did you let the Kenyan win?” Ivan replied, “I didn’t let him win, he was going to win”.

The journalist insisted again, “But you could have won!” Ivan looked at him & replied, “But what would be the merit of my victory? What would be the honour of that medal? What would my Mom think of that?”

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About the author

Bennie Mostert
By Bennie Mostert