Except for individual evolution where one must first attempt to experience freedom before helping others – everywhere else ‘others’ must come first. At least that’s what the most ancient and wisdom laden sages of our land have declared. The current debate with respect to selection of tennis teams for India’s nomination to the London Olympics 2012 provides enough inputs for contemplation.
It is widely believed and accepted that India is filled with excessive talent. True! Why else will every aspect of society be as competitive as it is today. Be it the Presidential Elections or Reality Shows identifying singing talent or Selecting the most eligible batch for an academic session – competition is inevitable. The competition is tough and the difference between the winners and those who miss out (not lose!) is very narrow. All this ultimately boils down to the day’s performance. Hence it is not surprising to see other practices being employed to survive / succeed. All of this in the long run will only reduce the competitiveness of the social unit!
Back to Tennis: Indian tennis has produced two formidable combinations in doubles. One is the Paes-Bhupathi in mens doubles and the other Mirza-Bhupathi in mixed doubles. Both are proven combinations with enough results to back. They seem the most suitable combinations for India to win medals at the Olympics. With the various other nations across the world becoming more competitive across sports – the already limited medal options of India is only becoming more challenging! So why will we as a nation even wait to decide which teams must go into the Olympics in an area where we are sure about medals. But this year even there, we have challenges.
The cause of the social unit (be it city, corporation, geography, world) should always be put above the individual or lesser sized social unit. Only when this is done will spirit of society thrive and grow. No individual or group can outlive others by doing away the others. This is an almost impossible situation. But here we have examples of a few exceptionally talented players rejecting this rational. For Indian tennis it may be good / bad which we will know only in hindsight. But seemingly the best combinations don’t seem to want to work along for the country’s interests. Individual likes and dislikes seem to have won the battle against overall good. The most humorous part of this is that almost all of them keep re-iterating that all they are doing is for the nation!! Does that bring a smile to you?
Just extend this thinking to organizations and entrepreneurial teams. There is almost on a daily basis a situation for someone to let-go their individual likes / interests for the sake of the larger good. It is because there are still individuals who play the game with these rules that societies and social groups exist. This is an important take away for all those who are playing team sports.
While things take their natural course – everyone has yet another opportunity to learn that building teams at all levels involve sacrificing individual preferences for greater good. The interesting fact is that almost all aspects of life involves teamwork whether we accept it or not!