Success at what Price?
The four yearly spectacle of the Americas Cup yachting contest is behind us and leaves much room for reflection. Following our success in the Louis Vuitton regatta we safely assumed that we had an open field in the showdown with Oracle. Notwithstanding that we did not quite make it, we enjoyed the nail biting spectacle on San Francisco Bay and came away proud of the achievement of the Emirates Team.
I purposely use the sponsors’ brands as contenders, because, as a learned marketing professor in the University of Otago pointed out, it was not a contest between countries, but two major international corporates.
Major sporting competitions, like all wars, are driven by economic considerations that use patriotism as a convenient incentive to justify the sacrifices in human terms. Similarly, both bring out the best and worst in us, be it as active protagonists or bystanders. This Americas Cup was no exception to the rule, with outpourings of admiration and scorn facilitated by the electronic media that give internet users free range without borders. Some of this of the more extreme kind was not fit for publication and no credit to the originators or the country it came from, in this instance Aotearoa New Zealand.
Some commentators issued grim forebodings about the negative effects of our team’s loss with reference to the economic spin offs. Such ill- informed opinions lost sight of the fact that both competing craft had their origins right here in the Auckland region and were managed and crewed by Kiwis.
As matters stand many super yachts that ply the oceans of the world are skippered and to some extent manned by our people. They habitually visit our world renowned boat building and maintenance facilities, as well as serving their owners’ desire for rest and recreation in our friendly waters. This is not going to change; in fact it will have received a massive boost from the latest spectacle. In essence what I am saying is that in the final analysis our country is the real winner with massive benefits that will cover the four years leading up to the next Americas Cup regatta and beyond.
You may ask, what has all this to do with religion? The answer is simple. If we place God as the objective of our attention with the same fervour that was evident in the sporting contest, we will derive immense benefits from Christ’s message and example in our daily lives. Attaching too much value to passing events, however memorable, cannot take the place of our religion as a constantly sustaining force of good that is not limited by time restraints.
Therefore let us see the Americas Cup as an example to assist us in our faith based pursuits.