Like pretty much everyone in South Africa at the moment (I think!) I am getting big “bok koors” which directly translated means “buck fever”. I know it doesn’t make sense if directly translated! Even that proves my point on a post I made earlier this morning on social media. Not a lot of people outside of South Africa will understand the symbol and role of rugby in our South African culture. It’s the one place where we are almost 99.9% UNIFIED – no matter race, creed, economic background or religion. We stand behind our national team! Especially when against New Zealand – our arch enemies when it comes to the sport! It’s the one place where I see black, white, male and female agree on one point: we want to win!
I was watching a social media video, made about one of the players and it stirred something inside me. It is about a fairly small player in the team – he is not very tall in stature, but he is incredibly nippy, he has long blond hair and he is basically everywhere he needs to be in order to get the ball to the right person. Even though he doesn’t have to run to the score the try necessarily, he makes sure that those designated, gets the ball so that they can do their thing! He once arrived at our international airport, in nothing but a speedo with the South African flag printed on it! If you know our culture that leans towards conservatism, this is something different.
When you look at him on the field – he is like a Jack Russel! (in all the good ways)! He has courage, he goes for the game with all his heart and when he is basically tossed aside by a massive opposition player like a rag dol, he literally uses the momentum of the throw to roll back unto his hands. Masterfully, turning a potential humiliation, into a show of perfect acrobatic skill! That is testimony to his character, and I believe, his frame of mind. We all can take a page from his book!
What I absolutely love is how he, an unlikely hero is not really much phased by his “limitations”. In context, he is living in a world of sporting giants, men who is known to channel their aggression on the field (let’s face it, rugby is not a gentle ballet dance kind of sport!) and he is just himself, unapologetically. And you simply HAVE to take note of his stature!
What I believe he’s done right however, is he has connected with an authenticity inside himself, and people LOVE him for it! He gives you no other option! He is such a likable character!
I often wonder about authenticity and how many people really dare to be authentically themselves. We might think we are being authentic, but what about the parts (potential) of yourself that you don’t see – the things that are outside your peripheral view? I look at different situations in a school/work environment and I can clearly see how people external to us, are trying to dictate to us who we should be, what is right (and wrong) in their perception, and how people and systems are trying to snuff out the individual’s individualism. We see this in children how, over time, they are robbed of their biggest strengths in life, because they are told that it is unacceptable to be xyz.
There are few things that makes me sadder than to watch this play out in people. People are so scared to be themselves, and they have good reason to! Prosecution, persecution, indifference, opinions, antiquated belief systems and a plain simple lack of self understanding is what is robbing us from a wonderfully glorious diverse world where everyone can live out their highest potential, receive acknowledgement for it, and THRIVE! Rather than being persecuted for being “different” and shamed into loosing all hope as they are told “what you are is not good”. What is so wrong with being different after all? Just because you don’t like orange juice, doesn’t mean no one else can drink it! Orange juice still deserves shelf space to those whose palette it caters to! Have a look at this video clip about this rugby player and FEEL his unique flavor:
We are doing Empower Thyself this weekend, and let me tell you a secret – at it’s core, our empowerment lies in us getting to know who we truly are, so that we can express and LIVE that out there in the world, authentically. Have you noticed how disturbing it is to watch someone or something you know is pretending to be something they are not? Like a cheap plastic item in a shop, sprayed with fake gold in an attempt to appear to be like the real thing? And it might even look good, until you pick it up and realize it’s plastic and not some solid durable material like brass or wood? A discerning eye can immediately see it’s not genuine and real, and it’s most certainly not going to last!
Don’t live life like a cheap imitation of who you are! You are too precious and your gifts are completely unique and SO NEEDED in the world to create change! The world deserves an authentic version of you to show up!
Love and Moonlight,