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A Rather Nasty Rash

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business”A Rather Nasty Rash” is the 12th in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

by Joseph Tom Riach

    It is unfortunate but true that certain sections of modern society appear to suffer from a highly contagious and rather nasty rash. Or to be more precise, a rash of nastiness! Symptoms typically experienced by those infected range from mild displays of unkindness to others through to outright hostility. Sufferers show little regard for the sterling human qualities such as bravery, perseverance, self-sacrifice and community spirit of others but tend to celebrate weak will and failure. It seems that those who weep, wail and display personas akin to half-wits being devoured by flesh-eating aliens takes prevalence over decent people who smile, take criticism with good grace, retain composure and have a proper idea of what is important in life. In short, those with a sense of perspective. But no, to such a reasonably balanced individual the reaction of rash-infected hysterics is often, "Where is your victim-hood? Why are you not more miserable and aggrieved! You're not crying enough.”

    The trend is apparent in, among other places, the world of professional football. As games are played in full public view and real time, they provide perfect insight. As a life-long follower of the game, I played in my youth and dreamed of becoming a famous player. While I and my super-star heroes of the day were no angels on the field of play (nor off it), neither were we guilty of the petulant behaviour of present day players. All wanted to win of course but there was a certain code of acceptable conduct and no question of mis-placed self-importance. Responsibility for win, loss or draw was accepted with reasonable grace … the more so after time to cool down and enjoy a pint or two in the bar with opponents! All were in it for fun and glory – not for vindictiveness and self-pity.

    Players and fans alike prided themselves on the quality of displaying a passion for the game in general, and for the team they followed in particular. It was largely well-meaning and harmless. Yet in current times it has increasingly come to be characterised by blatant cheating, hurling obscenities at the opposition, the refereee and even your own team.

    Being professional, or a fan, has come to mean defending the indefensible when one of 'your' players misbehaves, and feigning outrage when a rival steps out of line. It means railing at perceived injustice week after week, while never acknowledging when 'your' team gets the rub of the green. It means earning thousands of pounds a week (players) or spending thousands of pounds a year (fans) for the right to be indescribably angry for two hours every week. And if you're not deeply unhappy - then you just don't care enough!

    Passion or poison, that's the question. The fact is that when I look at players' and fans' behaviour, as at sectors of life in general, I can neither see nor believe that these people have anything to do with me, my ideals, my way of living. They don't represent my notions of fun, affiliation or sportsmanship. How can they be capable of such spite and malice over a mere game, a pursuit which fundamentally doesn't matter? A supposedly entertaining diversion from life's drudgery has become the focal point for all their frustration and hatred. A sense of humour is seen as a sign of weakness. Fans and players seem motivated solely by negativity. A desire to see rivals suffer has overtaken the wish for their own team to do well. It's far worse than just a rather nasty rash!

    Yet it needn't be so. The good news is that rashes, nasty or otherwise, can be cured. Better still is to live life in such ways as to minimise the risk of contracting them in the first place. So with football, and life generally. Conduct yourself with spirit and with good humour. It is perfectly possible to be competitive but compassionate too. Not at all a hard balance to strike and quite achievable. Work at winning while accepting that others have similar goals. Respect their dedication rather than deriding it. Then you can expect to enjoy some of the same consideration in return - and no nasty rash!

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

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A RATHER NASTY RASH  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
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See you there! Regards, Tom.

© Copyright Joseph T.Riach 1998-present. All rights reserved.
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  • Top Member

    In response to your post I will share two scriptures from the Bible that describe humility and compassion. I think it goes along with your post as well.

    "Self-praise and bragging give evidence of pride and are not upbuilding to those listening. Therefore, the Bible says: “Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth.”​—Pr 27:2.

    One meaning of compassion is “to suffer together.” A person who shows compassion is moved to relieve others’ suffering, perhaps by helping them out of their difficulties. Seek opportunities to do so!

    All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must do to them. ~Matthew 7:12


    • Top Commentor

      Thank you for your wise insights Terri. I find that your biblical quotes inspire, comfort and remind me of the origin of true love and understanding of the human spirit. Lots of good stuff to set me on my way for the day.

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