Kiado-Ryu Karate

Aug 30, 2021 - Feature of the Week

Beyond a Gold Medal

As all of humanity knows, the Gold medal is synonymous with being the best, the apex of one’s athletic performance in competition. To those who win gold, they are often lionized, idolized, and frequently offered lavish commercial contracts worth millions of dollars. Such souls become media darlings as heroes, heroines and role models to others.

This, of course, is a good thing. We all need heroes and heroines, individuals who strive to become the top of their craft because their accomplishments can inspire us to do the same. Where would society be without individuals who rise to well-deserved and legitimate pedestals of accomplishment?

But is winning a Gold medal the last word in achievement, the ultimate in athletic performance? In fact, is there not something else more powerful than Gold medals, Championship trophies, Nobel Prizes, Academy Award winning Oscars, musical Grammys and a cornucopia of various awards?

Yes, there is. How do we know this? Answer: because Gold medals and other awards do not necessarily reflect or manifest all that is positive, noble and admirable. How many achievers in the Olympics or other performance genres have, through negative and unacceptable actions and behaviors, fallen from their pedestals and podiums?

This brings us to the following question: “When has there ever been in this world an award, any award, extolling and praising those individuals with an exalted character manifesting purity of spirit, exemplary conduct, and an elevated consciousness? When do we ever see these individuals receiving the same type of adulation accompanying athletes, singers, actors, etc.? It’s an interesting thought.

The Triangle of Life is composed of body, mind and spirit. The body and mind can achieve greatness but if the spiritual component is missing, where is the exaltation? That spiritual component of exaltation is represented by one’s character, ethics, morals, and values, not worldly acclaim. If these hallowed qualities of the spirit are missing within an individual and his/her conduct, where is the gold? For a person to be whole all three of the Triangle’s aspects have to be conjoined and functional, meaning that they must be manifested and apparent—all three, not just two.

Medals and trophies are extrinsic to our being, i.e., they are of the world. Gold medals, trophies, accolades, etc., can be achieved without good character. However, character is intrinsic to our energetic being—to who and what we are at our core. We can’t take any worldly thing with us into the next life when it is our time to move beyond this one. What will go with us in the coming journey are not Gold medals or other symbols of worldly acclaim, but our character because it is an integrated component of every fiber of our being. This is why, if we’re spiritually astute, we will never neglect the spiritual component of the Triangle of Life. Furthermore, it is why …

Of all the things to fill a kettle,
better to have a Gold character
than a Gold medal!