... on Greed in Sports
Avarice can take on many forms - the greed for money, power, success, and fame. It is the ultimate manifestation of evil and not even high-school athletes are exempt from its seemingly appealing attributes, especially those who turn to "steroids" in their quest for sports immortality.
Note, in the U.S. alone, a recent investigation has illustrated that more than 6% of our high-school seniors take steroids on a regular basis. Moreover, approximately two-thirds of them started before the age of sixteen. This is appalling!
Who is to blame? We all are. Too much pressure is placed on today's athlete to win. Anything less is considered by many as "failure." Quite frankly, we have lost perspective as to what sports are all about. When kids are so concerned with being "No. 1," that they will do anything to reach the goal, including steroids, it's time to re-evaluate the purpose of scholastic sports.
It must start with the parents at home and the teachers and coaches at school. And what needs to be stressed is participation and the work ethic. We need to make kids realize that although it's great to be a champion, that it's also an accomplishment to reach one's personal best, even if it falls far short of placing in a wrestling tournament or having a winning record in football. That's why one individual excells in refuse collection while another is a world-famous neurosurgeon. Both are equally respected in his own field, reaching the peak of his individual abilities - through hard work, not shortcuts.
Yes, greed has produced the autocratic governments of the world, the drug cartels from Colombia, the illegal stock-manipulations on Wall Street, and finally, the use of steroids in athletics. And it will only get worse, unless we (the adults of today) begin to teach our children (the adults of tomorrow) that "personal integrity" is the only true path to self-dignity.
To me, human honesty is far more important than anything money can buy or all the athletic contests steroids can win. I wish more agreed with my point of view. Don't you?
Updated September 15, 1997