Since it is sports week, I thought it appropriate to speak to the sacredness of sports, though I am probably the last on the Beams roster to bring to real depth to this specific topic.
But then yesterday, a few of us were sitting and taking in the view of lovely Vancouver, sun beating down for the first time in what felt like months. It was one of those full and satisfying moments. Then we looked over to the bright and glaring signage on Rogers Arena. Among many other events, Rogers Arena is where our kick-ass-amazing-totally-going-to-win-the-Stanley-cup-this-year-hockey-team the Canucks play.
Having been fortunate enough to make it to a playoff game recently, I can still feel the charge of community, pride and unbridled excitement that pumps through that space during a game. But when sitting outside yesterday, taking in the landscape of this stunning city, I couldn’t help but feel a little deflated and resigned when looking at that Rogers Arena sign.
I would like to see a new move in corporate social responsibility. That is when a corporation sponsors a stadium, a theatre, a library; one of these large gathering places for our people, that they do us the honour of keeping the space sacred and leave their big ass neon name out of it. Their name is everywhere anyway. But these are our gathering places, where we meet for sport, music, culture. We are so inundated with in-your-face marketing that we have to numb out to it in order to not have a seizure. What is this doing to the Sacredness of gathering for the event? When we numb out to the marketing, are we numbing out to the game? Are we able to even feel the sacred ritual of gathering in these ways with our tribes?
We are living in a world where we are being sold to every waking moment, our gorgeous oasis of a planet becoming one big billboard. The challenge moving forward becomes how to be in this world as it currently is and not numb out to the sacred ritual behind all the lights and hype, to stay present to what we are doing with one another and why, remembering that we are so much more than consumers.