Earlier this month I watched a TV interview with a Ukrainian Member of Parliament in the early stages of the Russian invasion. (Isn’t it great that we are able get information right from ground zero of the conflict? And from the people who are at the heart of the decision-making? Kudos to the news media for “getting the goods” right from the sources.)
“It might appear to the outside world,” he said, “that this is a David and Goliath conflict . . . but we all know how that turned out!”
It was his explanation for the fortitude and optimism of the Ukrainian people. And I took note of his first three words: “it might appear . . .”
The Ukrainian people evidently weren’t so convinced that they were massive underdogs. The world, and certainly Putin, underestimated their resolve. But the Ukrainians would only believe in an outcome in their favour. They were unwavering in that conviction. (A military strategist disclosed in a later interview, that the rule-of-thumb in such a conflict is that an invading nation needs 10 times the military might as the defending nation to succeed.)
While the outcome is still far from certain, it appears that Ukraine (with some help from the West) is having major success in this conflict.
This David is meeting their Goliath challenge.
When the Canadian men’s Soccer team began the road to qualifying for World Cup 2022, it also appeared to be a David vs Goliath challenge. A year ago, we were ranked #72 in the world, with both Mexico and the United States in the low teens, and a bundle of Central American countries in between. Three teams from this zone qualify.
We hadn’t qualified for the World Cup since 1986 (and then only because Mexico, as host country, got an automatic entry, so our zone received an extra spot.)
But our players and our coaches believed.
Sunday, with the big win over Jamaica, Canada qualified, and not just as the last seed. Previously having beaten both Mexico and the U.S. on our soil (and tying them on theirs), Canada sits atop the CONCACAF zone, and will almost certainly end up there after Wednesday’s final games.
We’re now ranked #32 in the World and will likely rise a few more spots before the World Cup draw is made on Friday.
Have you been as inspired as I have by these two stories? Could we add more to them?
I’m sure that most of us could identify personal Goliaths that we have faced, or are perhaps facing now. Some, of course, may be completely out of our control.
But many aren’t.
Like the biblical account that gave us the original storyline, like the temerity and will of the Ukrainian people, like the determination and commitment of Canada’s soccer team, most of our Goliaths can be met with overwhelming belief, commitment and persistence.
We just need a little inspiration now and again to motivate us to take on the challenges that seem so great.
Can you add to the storyline?