Pain and Greatness

In some Greek tragedies, collective situation, represented by the chorus, is of sadness and misfortunes, what the ancient called miasma. This word refers at the same time to a state of collective sickness and a social disruption. It is a malaise both physical and moral. It is evident that the current world is feeling threatened by the pandemic and social injustice.

Sometimes, from this same miasma rise outstanding people in the arts, sciences, and sport and, less frequently, in political and military leadership. Those are heroes, also in the Greek sense of the word: those who know how to overcome their personal and social condition and elevate themselves to a universal standard through an outstanding performance.

Recently, Argentina lost one of its heroes, this time in the sports field. Diego Maradona received his final farewell with all the honors that receive those who are recognized as being the best however still representing all, maybe because he came from the humblest and the stratum that suffered the most. He had his triumphs and defeats but greatness is what prevailed.

As distant as it might seem, similar emotions to the sporting glory rise in the economy and geopolitics, because these terrains represent aspirations and injustices. They appear when a population mobilizes behind a noble and elevated project such as sovereignty, social justice, and some national reparation. With one warning we should do, there are always petty interests that pretend to make legitimate emotions into a distracting show, in war, politics, sports and mass media. The sun that illuminates is the same that can blind us.

Greeks overcame the miasma in their tragedies through an expiatory and sacrificial ritual, called catharsis. We must overcome it through public policies and mobilization.


The Editors

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