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The "Hand of God," Part 1

Maradona sadly passed away recently and knowing what a good footballer he was, I read about him. I read about his 1986 World Cup "Hand of God" hand-ball score against the English, and his "Goal of the Century" afterwards. I read about the fact that the refs hadn't called anything on the hand ball, nor on another slide-tackle foul which happened minutes prior to the goal of the century. And all this got me thinking.

We're so used to thinking things must be a certain way, maybe a masculine, take-no-prisoners way. We're so used to thinking that we cannot afford to admit our errors, our mistakes, our wrongdoing, our unfair practices, for fear of being caught vulnerable by the opposition, for fear of "giving in" to them. When I was discussing the hand of God with someone else, I was told, "Of course Maradona wasn't going to say anything but that, it was the World Cup!" Indeed, there was already bad blood between the two countries and he would have been annihilated by his team, his fans, and his country for saying anything less than what he said.

But I ask myself the question, why? Why do we live in a world where it's preferable to be mum about our transgressions to win, rather than be noble in declaring the truth? Why are vulnerability and transparency so decried? In our lives, in our most personal relationships, being transparent and avowing to weaknesses are what make us better. I ask myself what if such a respected player as he, had said it was a mistake? What if he had openly averred the truth, that it was a goal that shouldn't have counted?

Perhaps, then, Argentina wouldn't have won that day. Perhaps the goal of the century wouldn't have been scored. And perhaps those are untenable possibilities to many. But perhaps it would have been an incredible example of sportsmanship - nay, leadership - on the world stage, one of which we are still so desperately in need. Perhaps, for a rare moment in history, it would have exemplified the ability to forego the highest desires of the ego in favor of what was fair. And that, too, could have been century-making news.


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