The world is full of ecosystems. None are greater than the ecosystem that is life itself based on evolution. It is obvious for any educated person to see how felling trees or poaching rhinos is bad not only for the animals directly affected, but also ourselves. Peoples short sighted selfishness will ultimately be to the detriment of their children and their children’s children. But this exists everywhere.
I was dining with Mr Tom Lewis recently, and that pleasure is always mine as his enigmatic mind always sparks great debate between the two of us, and I put forth a point he couldn’t comprehend, which isn’t that unusual. I said that we should try to give back as much as we possibly could because the more we gave, the better we would be for it. Now, the great thing about giving back is not only does it feel good, but people assume you are being altruistic and generous, but we all contain selfish genes. It’s an ecosystem that I would pour energy into, to get more back and improve with.
I played out a scenario. I said lets imagine we go back to Woodhall Spa and England Golf. We spend the weekend with a group of players and give them as much of our wisdom and advice as we can. They can then use that as motivation to improve and in doing so, eventually turn professional. They then receive another dose of ‘Lewis-Love’ or ‘Pepperell-Pain’ and again use that to improve until one day, a day less futurebound, they beat us on the European Tour. I argued that this would be beneficial to us because we would have been challenged, forcing us to reflect and introspect and ultimately get better ourselves. This is golfs ecosystem. It’s no good being a top player and avoiding its significance, it would be prejudicial.
It is only greed that stops this phenomena happening. Markets crash, governments tumble, businesses fail and sportsmen suffer, all because in an attempt to crush the opposition, they instead eradicate it. We need competition. And it must always be fed. As long as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy recognise this and continue to give back, golf will be in good shape. It would defy our planetary laws if it did not. It sounds like a massive responsibility but like I said, if viewed rightly, the selfish chimp containing the selfish gene will feel happy because he knows at the end of it he will benefit.
Money is the virus. And agents are, quite literally the agents. With appearance fees growing and more and more people relying on the percentages they are due to pay their mortgages and feed their families, golf might not be so serendipitous. The sheer beauty of life and it’s undeniably ruthless habits is something I can’t help but adore. The success of something invariably always leads to its demise. It seems so engrained in human nature. Yet it is so simple to avoid, it just requires less greed.
I don’t wish to sound like some enhanced mystic meg and I am aware of my tender age and lack of experience in life compared with people dealing with these potential problems. However I do feel strongly about it and the older I am getting, the more of my Dad I can see in me. And it’s his generosity. I want to be part of something great, and I want to be someone great, don’t we all, but I’m fairly confident that to do so, you must be able to sometimes put greed to one side and help your own ecosystem.
From That Wise Old Owl (who turns 23 in 2 days so don’t forget my presents!), Cheers.