Hey, congratulations to Roger Federer on winning his 19th tennis championship.
It's an absolutely awesome level of athletic achievement and it's definitely something to celebrate.
But when I saw this photo of him and his trophy in the paper this morning, it seemed over the top!
Whenever someone sets their mind to something, works really hard, and is thank G-d able to achieve it--that is something to be happy about and enormously grateful for.
Hey, listen, I understand there are some real superstars out there and I respect them!
However, seeing this guy clutching his trophy in both hands, smelling it, kissing it, and more...it looks to me more like idolatry than the pure, sweet smell of success.
I get it--he worked super hard, achieved impossible things, and deserves to savor the incredible moment--no one is taking that away from him.
Instead of that gold trophy, wouldn't you rather see him kissing his wife and children, thanking G-d (and his coach maybe), and saying things like how he will continue to use his success and earning to help others or maybe train the next generation of aspiring athletes.
I applaud Federer more for his known philanthropy in helping disadvantaged children and doing charitable events for disaster victims than for winning his 19th championship (hey, 18 would've been fine too).
In the end, self- (and trophy-) love and admiration is not the something to celebrate, but should instead point us back to character and using our strength and achievements to help others.
For what is really important in life, there is no earthly trophy for--and certainly not one worth any ultimate embrace. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal via Wall Street Journal)