Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blessed are the Peacemakers

In my last post, I mentioned the down side of being a people pleaser. The  extreme version is someone who is so eager to be liked that he actually has no sense of self.
Being a peace lover is radically different. A lover of peace is not afraid of conflict; indeed, he will take more than a little criticism in pursuit of what is often the most difficult choice.
Such are Aisam-ul-Haq Kureshi of Pakistan and Rohan Bopanna of India. Against all odds and the will of many of their countrymen, these two professional tennis players teamed up at last month's US Open in the men's doubles competition in a symbolic act that went far, far beyond their excellent level of play. (They went all the way to the finals and lost against two of their admirers, Bob and Mike Bryan of the US.) Their message was so loud and clear that even the UN ambassadors of the two archrival nations sat side by side to watch the historic match.
The two players admittedly didn't have world peace -- or even regional peace -- in mind when they first decided to become doubles partners. They simply thought it would help each other's game. But they soon realized they had become good will ambassadors and gladly stepped into the role, sporting matching track suits at Wimbledon that read, "Stop war, start tennis."
Would to God that their governments would sit up and pay attention.

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