Thursday, June 24, 2010

Meant to be?

Don't get me wrong (or get me as wrong as you'd like), I am very happy that the US won their latest World Cup game, and will advance to second stage. And I am very happy for Landon Donovan, who scored the winning goal. I like the game of football (soccer) very much, used to play and then referee kids' games.

But I found Donovan's statement about the victory and its meaning a bit hard to take. He said (according to the Chicago Tribune): "It makes me believe in good in the world and if you try to do things the right way, it' good to see it get rewarded."

This idea that something was "meant to be" or a "reward" for previous good behavior is of course very widespread. And I can see how this belief can help people get through hard times. I don't believe the same thing; at least, I suppose I am "theoretically" open to the possibility that in fact there is some grand design that invests meaning and intent in things that happen.These days, though, I mostly hold to the viewpoint that "stuff just happens" and the only meaning events and outcomes have is the meaning we inject into it.

Having said that, OK, you believe what you believe, I believe what I believe. But, c'mon, Landon - you seem to be implying that all those other soccer players who are losing have not done things "the right way" and whose loss is a "good in the world." 

And that, dear reader, is really hard to believe.

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