Chapter 23: A New World, a New Man
Can you please talk about youth and sports, which today has a strong impact on young people’s lives.
It is a great relief that it is the last question, because these teenagers can go on asking!
Sports are perfectly right, and the teenagers should be encouraged not just to be observers of other people playing, but to be participants. What is happening is that thousands of people are just watching, and only a few people, professionals, are playing. This is not a good situation. Every teenager should be a participant, because it is going to give him physical health, it is going to give him a certain agility, it is going to give him a certain intelligence, and it is perfectly youthful.
But just to be an observer - and to be that before a television set - is not right. Five or six hours glued in your chair before a television set just seeing others playing football, or any other sport, is not right. It does not give you any growth. On the contrary, it makes you only an outsider in everything, never a participant, when it is deeply needed to be a participant, involved, committed.
It is good once in a while to see experts playing, to learn - but just to learn; otherwise, everybody should be on the playgrounds. I don’t see what the problem is. Young people should play; even elderly people, if they can find time, should play. Even people who have retired, who want to live a little more, should play. We should find games for every age group so that all people, their whole life, are players - according to their age, according to their strength.
But life should be a sport.
Sport has one very beautiful thing which I would like you to remember: it teaches you that it does not matter whether you are defeated or you are victorious. What matters it that you play well, that you play totally, that you play intensely, that you put your all in without holding back. That is sportsmanship. The others can be victorious, there is no jealousy; you can congratulate them and you can celebrate their victory. All that is needed is that you are not holding back, you are putting all your energies into it.
Your whole life should be a playfulness.
So there is nothing wrong in teenagers being interested in sports. The person who is asking seems to be interested that they should be all in the schools learning geography, history, and all kinds of nonsense which is of no use in life. Sports are far more significant, far healthier, far livelier.