There is so much good that can be said about excellence in any form, whether it be in academics, artistic expression, superiority in sports, musical talent, or whatever else. Not only does that good flow to the athlete, the artist, the scholar or the musician, it also positively affects all those who witness it or who are affected by it in one way or another. It can plant seeds in hearts and minds that may one day be realized in amazing achievements or impressive advancements. One can only wonder how many young people have been inspired to go in to their chosen field because of watching in amazement someone who excelled at it first.
Consider the upcoming Olympics. Millions of eyes will be trained on the athletes coming from many nations throughout the world to demonstrate the abilities that they have worked long and hard to develop. We, the viewing audience, will hear many of their stories throughout the run of the events and learn of great difficulties overcome, trials weathered and of dreams realized. We will have the opportunity to witness how their efforts and dedication have resulted in tremendous capabilities. We will applaud the human spirit that allows people to excel to such great heights and it may well reawaken within us the knowledge that much can be accomplished through perseverance and struggle. That is a pretty powerful by-product of the Olympic Games; the ability to reignite a flame of hope and the possibility of achievement within an individual. Perhaps that is one of the reasons that the Games are so popular and so widely viewed.
Starting tomorrow, millions of us will have the chance to tune in and watch these amazing athletes who have come together from places far and wide as they demonstrate the abilities they have worked so long and hard to perfect. As we come to know a little more about these athletes through their stories and as we watch their performances, we no doubt will delight in their successes and be saddened in their defeats. However, in that process we stand to gain something significant for ourselves as well; the opportunity to be inspired to do and be better than we presently are. That is no small thing. That kind of inspiration is likely the ingredient that has lead to all the great things that have ever been achieved at any time by anyone.