Parent Like You Mean It: Olympic Sized Love and Hate

Parent Like You Mean It: Olympic Sized Love and Hate February 9, 2022

Olympic Sized Love and Hate

Hi, I’m Jefferson Drexler, and this is Parent Like You Mean It – the show where we talk about parenting on purpose today with the goal of cutting down tomorrow’s surprises to size.

And today, we’re talking about love and sports. Actually, we’ll start with my love FOR sports. 

Anyone who has spent any time with me knows that I am a huge sports fan. I love watching sports, playing sports, reading about sports… I was so sports-starved at the beginning of the pandemic that I was one of the very few people across the nation tuned into live cornhole… simply because it was the only sporting event that was on! My addiction even sank to the depths of viewing collegiate spikeball and even competitive marbles! 

Yes… I admit it… I may have a problem.

Anyway… in years past, when the Olympics came around – no matter if it were summer or winter – the games rolled on my TVs 24/7. I’d drag my sons in to watch the Opening Ceremony and we’d remain glued to the games for two weeks, all the way through to the extinguishing of the torch.

But, not this year.

As of my taping of this episode, we are several days into the 2022 Winter Games, and I’ve hardly viewed a single race, snowboard run or curl.

But it’s not just me. According to Variety: 

“NBC Sports says 16 million viewers tuned in to watch the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony across multiple platforms on Friday, a new record-low for the event since NBCUniversal began broadcasting the Olympics in 1988. [These numbers are] down 43% compared to the 28.3 million viewers that watched the PyeongChang Winter Olympics opening ceremony [four years ago].”

But, why? Why aren’t we watching? Why aren’t we rooting? Why aren’t we excited to wear our red, white and blue and cheer on America’s Olympians?

Well, according to the Daily Wire’s sports reporter Joe Morgan, “40 percent of people polled said they don’t plan to watch the Olympics this year because they are opposed to China hosting the Games.”

For those who are unaware, many people are upset that the Chinese government is allowed to be put on such a prestigious pedestal as the host country of the Winter Olympics in light of their persecution – no, genocide – of the Uyghur people within their borders over the past eight years. In addition to rounding up these Chinese Muslims into internment camps and subjecting them to forced labor, there have been countless reports of forced sterilization, forced abortions and genocide throughout China’s northwest region.

Then, there’s China’s forceful takeover of Hong Kong. For nearly a year-and-a-half, Beijing has unleashed a stamped of actions to bring the once-autonomous and thriving region into political lock step with the Chinese Communist Party: arresting activists, seizing assets, firing government workers, detaining newspaper editors, rewriting school curriculums and straight up “disappearing” people who dissent.

In fact, China is so globally intimidating, even the likes of Nancy Pelosi seemed scared when she issued this warning to our Olympic Athletes a couple months ago: “…you are there to compete. Do not risk incurring the anger of the Chinese government because they are ruthless. I know there is a temptation on the part of some to speak out while they are there, I respect that. But, I also worry about what the Chinese government might do to their reputations, to their families.”

And, that doesn’t even touch on the reported responsibilities China shoulders for the global pandemic we’ve been dealing with these past years that has crippled the economies and well being of people all around the world!

Why?… Why is it that today, as in the case of Japan last year, and South Korea, Brazil, Spain, Australia, and even Russia in years past… Why is it that China is given this glorious platform as the world’s Olympic host?

It’s hard to understand and even harder to stomach… and the viewing numbers prove that I’m not alone.

But, there’s another side to this. 

Why should our grievances against China stop us from rooting on Chloe Kim, Jamie Anderson, Brittany Bowe, John Shuster, the Hamilton Siblings, or Shaun White, among scores of other American Olympic hopefuls who are enduring the headaches and heartaches of competing without their families in the stands, using burner phones, while putting up with substandard living conditions, and constantly looking over their shoulders wondering what might come next.

The athletes bear no fault at all regarding the Uyghurs, Hong Kong or leaking and lying about the pandemic. Shouldn’t we be all the more enthusiastically watching the games and waving our flags? 

All this got me thinking about something we have been discussing with some friends lately – 

A lesson that my father-in-law has been teaching for decades – How can we show kindness, even support for people who are involved in something that we abhor? Or, cutting deeper, as my father-in-law does: How can we love the unlovely?

I mean, no matter which side of the argument you’re on, whether you support Biden or Trump, Fauci or Rand Paul, Whoopie or Gina Carano, Joe Rogan or the Woodstock Concert line up, the Raiders or… everyone else…

How can we express kindness, humility, patience, hope and even trust in people who blatantly disagree with us on any number of hot topics… and isn’t it true these days that EVERY topic seems to be a hot topic?

But, how to we set an example and teach our kids to love people we whose beliefs, politics, or behaviors are not in alignment with our own? 

It takes wisdom. I mean, we can’t set a good example and teach our kids what is right and good if we just allow evil to go unrestrained, right? I mean, I wouldn’t let my own kids treat each other terribly, and I’d call out their friends for treating people terribly, so why wouldn’t I also stand in protest of China? Or any other nonsensical oppressive regime, for that matter? 

I guess it boils down to practical wisdom. Like I read last week:

If you’re really wise, you will live in a completely good way. That is the most important thing. Also, you will live in a way that brings peace. You will be kind to other people so that they become your friends. You will listen to them and not argue. You will forgive them and do many good things to help them. You will not show favoritism. And you will not be a hypocrite. Those who bring peace to other people help them to live together in peace. As a result, people choose to do what is right and good. 

But, how are we supposed live so graciously in the face of injustice or even tyranny? Especially when even the Bible tells us:

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

I mean… what the heck? How are we supposed to be a patient and nice and still provide justice for the oppressed? Shoot… by today’s standards, how are we to even define who is truly oppressed?

Welp, here’s today’s lesson, and it’s one we need to model and teach to our kids every day. It’s also from the Bible, and in many ways, it helps clarify all this. Here’s my paraphrase, you’re free to steal it, write it down, tape it to your mirror or magnet it to your fridge…

God has shown you what is good and what He wants us to do. 1) Do what is right and just; 2) Love mercy in all you do; 3) Live humbly, not hypocritical or arrogantly; and 4) Do all this as if you were walking alongside God at all times… because He’s everywhere, so you literally ARE. (Micah 6:8)

It’s easier said than done, I know. When you’ve got that person who just ticks you off nearly every single day, you don’t want to deal with him in a way that would make God happy as He’s standing there next to you. You want to pound the guy. 

You don’t want to give China the opportunity to brag about how wonderful and well-received their Olympic Games are as they continue to lie about the atrocities they continually commit.

And this one is for the mini-me’s living under my roof: You don’t want your slob of a brother to keep messing up your room when you can easily punch him and teach him a good old fashioned lesson in cleanliness.

I get it.

But, as parents, we are called to live differently. We are burdened with the responsibility to teach and set examples for our kids and their friends so that years from now, they will live rightly and at peace – with themselves and (hopefully) with one another.

So, will I watch the Olympics tonight? Well, it’s doubtful. Not because I abhor China, but because tonight is Taco Tuesday, and if you have ever had the chance to taste my wife’s fish tacos, and sit around the table hearing my kids’s stories of their day, you’d put off watching the biathlon as well.

Check out more Parent Like You Mean It videos on our YouTube Channel!

And, watch more entertaining and engaging videos from our incredible influencers videos here!

Browse Our Archives