You will never walk alone | Day 225 of my 2023 Journal
When I was a child, my father taught me to enjoy football. It did not stick so much that I actually care about football now, but I preserved the ability to enjoy it.
Somehow, anyway, I understand the hype.
It was a great pleasure to live in a true football-religion-flat. The house itself was painted very colorfully with the city symbol of a bird holding a leaf; also, the symbol on the football flag and scarfs and directly on the apartment walls were portraits of football stars. The walls were also decorated with the team song, and all pillows had the logo and part of the song - mostly “You will never walk alone” printed on them.
This is the key to football as a religion. The loneliness. Or, more precisely: The human craving for belonging. There has been so much lost in modern society, and football can sometimes mend it: bring people together, makes us feel part of a tribe, part of something bigger.
Communal singing to a symbol or a connectedness used to be part of rites of passage and seasonal celebrations - and done with the tribe, to a community of people with whom you shared everything. I believe there is a deep longing for that in us in modern times (and here, I mean all ages since the Industrial Revolution). We need to feel part of something greater, something shared, with those we know. Hyping about a football team can create that and has created that. Sadly so.
Or wait. Not sadly so. It is somehow great.
What is sad is that it has taken over from spirituality and everyday belonging and taken such center stage in some people's lives that it has become an obsession. Because even though football is a lot of fun, and some players are downright amazing at what they do, football can not give you all your eternal soul is looking for and will not create the nuances of a community that has your back in all elements of life.
So here it is: Complex again. Let’s enjoy football and even enjoy supporting “our” team or country's effort to win, but let’s at the same time not forget our eternal soul and the vast greatness of the Universe. There is more to it than football can cover.
Love and light
Thank you for reading
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