Thanks to Yahoo! News, I get to read the most random stories about things which I would otherwise have no interest in.
Hockey, for instance.
Today I read a story about how fans of the Montreal Canadiens cheered when a player on the opposing team was injured when a puck hit him in the face. According to Yahoo!, the Canadiens’ fans are known for their “inappropriate booing of anthems and cheering of injuries.”
But why is this permissible? Competitiveness? All’s fair in love and war? Good ol’ fashioned team rivalry? The author of the story doesn’t completely object to cheering at a rival team’s misfortunes (including injuries). He chalks it up to just being part of the game, the culture, of his “fandom.”
And so I thought (outside of sports), what are some of the statements I’ve heard people make when they hear of other’s misfortunes?
- A new mom returns to work after maternity leave and is greeted with a pink slip (well, I guess that’s what happens when you take advantage of the government’s FMLA leave).
- A neighbor’s house is in foreclosure (well, I guess that’s what happens when you waste money and don’t pay your bills).
- A suicide bomber kills dozens that have gathered for prayer in a Mosque (well, I guess that’s what happens when you worship the wrong god).
- A famous singer dies alone in a hotel room (well, I guess that’s what happens when you won’t stop using drugs).
Translation: they deserved it.
When really bad things happen to me, I usually don’t think “I deserved that.” Why be so quick to label other’s misfortunes as being “deserved?”
Now, thanks to the fans of a hockey team I’ll probably never see play, I am humbled – to respond with love in a way that Christ would.
And to leave the culture of competition behind.