If you are a tennis fan like me, and perhaps even if you aren’t, you might have heard that Marion Bartoli became this year’s ladies’ Wimbledon champion. A BBC journalist made some ‘negative’ remarks about her looks before she was about to play the Wimbledon final. This angered a large number of the BBC audience, which led the BBC to issue a formal apology for the comments made by the journalist (source).
The reason that many people complained about the journalist’s comments is because they find somebody’s looks irrelevant in sports. They want to focus on the sports itself. This is what a somebody posted on the BBC news website for example:
Bartoli won because she was the best player over the fornight. Inverdale’s remarks were a disgrace, a player’s looks has nothing to do with how sucessful they will be on the court.
What I find really ironic about this is that it is actually not the BBC journalist’s comments that took the attention away from the tennis, but the reaction to those comments. If you read the comments section of the BBC article that reports on Bartoli’s victory at Wimbledon for example, you will find that most comments are reactions and dicussions on the remarks made by the journalist. These remarks are receiving so much attention that even politicians are now finding ways to use the comments to their benefit. I was surprised to find an article that continues on this subject on the front page of the evening newspaper as recently as a few days ago.
This is what is meant by the statement what we resist, persists. When we resist something, it persists because we don’t actually stop giving attention to it; instead we start giving negative attention to it. Anyone who practices meditation has experienced that attention is energy and that energy makes and keeps things alive. This is why it is not possible to instruct somebody to not think of the Eiffel Tower for example.
The most effective approach to change something we don’t find useful or meaningful is to accept what we don’t want and then to focus on what we do want.