In a rare afternoon of watching the World Cup today, in which Brazil was victorious over Colombia, I was most moved not by the game, but by this unexpected expression of consolation and deep comradeship between two star competitors, James Rodriguez and David Luiz, when the game was over. At the very moment of triumph, when other victors might play to the crowd with ecstatic victory laps and wild dances, Brazil's David Luiz instead focused on embracing and reassuring his defeated, weeping Colombian opponent, James, and using Brazil's moment of glory to direct the applause of the ecstatic crowds -- and the observing world of millions -- to James, and the Colombian team he represents.
After their teams' ferociously virtuosic performances, these two world-class opponents embraced in a moment of utter intimacy and deep companionship that gently and instantly transcended and transformed their adversarial roles, heedless of the millions of eyes upon them and of the macho cultures that might scorn the uncharacteristic tenderness of the moment.
Despite all the other insanities of FIFA politics, garguantuan expenses diverted from other social needs, etc., there was nevertheless a great message here of deep sportsmanship and caring that transcended the artificial polarizations that typically define primordial sports fanaticism, militarism, and winner-take-all economics, which all share the heroic archetypes that can be equally channeled for good or ill.
Indeed, most of our lives are dominated by false dichotomies that break us into despairing worlds of false solitudes, false adversaries, false economic tradeoffs, false national identities and boundaries, false prioritizing of profits over people, false gender polarities, etc. Most of history's economic, religious, and political dramas are driven, and reproduced over generations, by such unexamined falsities and by the social rituals that incarnate them in sports arenas, in boot camps, wars, and nationalistic spectacles of might and whitewashed historical narratives.
When two such fiercely talented men can, under the world's gaze, embrace across the anguishing chasm of victory and defeat, and embody the superior bond of brotherliness we see here, there may be hope that other stupid dichotomies of life and history can likewise be overcome.