The Winter Olympics is generally more lackluster than its summer counterpart, but even though we pay less attention to the games, there’s one aspect of the Olympics the world has its eyes on this year.
With the games hosted in Pyeongchang, South Korea, North Korea and South Korea had a rare opportunity and chose to march under a unified flag, and in some of the events they are participating with a joint team. What does this say about the relation of North Korea and South Korea?
What we want it to say is peace. How awesome, right? The two countries can put their differences aside and come together for a couple of weeks in a event that’s meant to bring the world together. That’s how we’ve chosen to portray it. Headlines across the world are highlighting small talks of reconciliation. But the facts show this is not the truth.
Just look and listen closely, and you’ll see North Korea’s treatment of its athletes and its relations with its competing countries is nothing admirable.
So what’s the point of highlighting this truth? Well, truth. Would it be nice to be able to affirm that North Korea is on its way to reconciliation with South Korea and other countries? Yes. But does portraying a false hope via the Winter Olympics do us any favors? No. Why is this so? Because the actual situation is not any better.
It’s a simple concept that gets misconstrued in several aspects of life. The Winter Olympics is just a sign of the times. In our individual relationships, in our classrooms, in our churches and in our world we’ve settled for stressing unity over truth, even when the underlying fact stands that unity based on falsehood never benefits any situation.
We should strive for unity. We should cherish it, and we should celebrate it. But we can only do that when we see its basis rooted in truth. That’s the only foundation on which true unity can stand.