And that is what this post is about – the power of hope; and what the young players in the English team brought to so many over the last few weeks.
I am inspired to write about them not because of their feat – and it was in itself a fantastic feat- but the hope that they inspired in so many young people in England who, at this moment in time, feel so disenchanted and disenfranchised.
England is in disarray in a way that it has not been for hundreds of years: A botched referendum, division amongs many, and mainly the older English people, jobs disappearing at a fast rate of knots, the inability to buy their own homes (after all an Englishman’s home is his castle), high levels of debt, zero hour contracts; is it any wonder that our young people fear for their future?
But this year a young England team went to the World cup without much support from at home; after all England have been dismal for over ten years and I think a lot of people thought that would not change. But along came this young team, led by a measured and calm manager; who presented himself of the pitch immaculately irrespective of the heat and never seemed to lose his cool. He led by example. It is shame that others in England cannot do the same and are only out to make a name for themselves, a particular odious buffoon of a politician comes to mind!
This England team, the oldest only being thirty one and the youngest being nineteen, took the lead from their manager, not only did they play well – and the still have a game to play – but they did so with dignity, they did not respond to bad tackles and bad behavior on the pitch, they showed integrity and humility throughout. But, more importantly, they gave the young people in England hope. Big screens started to appear across England in a show of unity for all to support their home team, the young people started to believe that things could change, that they could improve, that England could get better; and that was the most important thing of all from this world cup.
My son messaged me to say he thought that this was a turning point for England, that if this young team could do so well, then things could get better, he had hope. Yes there were the few that behaved badly, terribly at times and it is a shame that some people focused on that negative and seemed to completely lose the positives that this World cup has given Englands young people; or see that; whilst the behaviour was appalling and it should never be condoned, it happens across the world and not just England.
So whilst these young men lost the semi-final I will reiterate that they still have another match to play and should be supported; and the hope that they have given to our young in England should be noted because at the moment I don’t think the older generations are leading by example. I would ask since when did third or even fourth place stop counting?
Keep the faith in all things, not just the football, don’t wait for the next match or tournament, but use the impetus to make improvements, and to always lead by example.
Good luck boys