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During the coverage of the 2016 Olympic Games, it has been greatly emphasized that golf is part of the games for the first time in one hundred and twelve years. As I was watching the last round of the men’s Olympic golf tournament, I heard the announcers explaining the frequently heard voices of officials and volunteers as they admonished spectators to be courteous to the players., especially by not taking pictures and making noise while the players were swinging the clubs for the shots. One particular commentator was so accurate when he said, these are just “not golf people.” In other words, they have not been taught and encouraged in the courtesy that generally characterizes the spectators of golf.

The Brazilians have been seen to be enthusiastic people, but often times, the local crowds have been described as “rowdy.” Boos have been rampant throughout the games and it has taken some people by surprise.

On a positive note, one particular incident in a track and field event has been put in the spotlight by the news media. Two female runners became entangled while competing in the 5000 meter run. They both fell, but helped each other up, finished the race and then hugged at the end—endearing themselves to each other and giving hope to millions who have mourned the decline of sportsmanship (courtesy).

Even in the United States, courtesy is becoming less and less common. Rude behavior and speech have become expected rather than shocking. Behavior at even the basic levels of youth completion has resulted in actions that leave us puzzled and appalled.

The teaching of Jesus commonly known as the Golden Rule is the answer to the courtesy problem. “So, whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them . . .” (Matthew 7:12 ESV).

True enough, one person practicing it will not turn the tide of rude behavior. However, Christians truly living by the Golden Rule, as well as living the rest of their lives like Jesus will make a tremendous impact upon the world. Parents and other adults screaming at each other and doing other things to disrupt competition and even harm people during recreational activities are influencing a generation in the wrong way. A better world truly begins with one person willing to be kind and courteous, even when no one else is.

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