Character is grace under pressure. When going gets tough; it is the tough which gets going. It is when we are compelled to make a split-second decision that our true colors are often on full display. On a cold winter afternoon of December, 2012, Ivan Fernandez Anaya showed his character on a race track in Navarra, Spain, and in the process he chose to show the world what true sportsmanship looks like! Ivan is a long-distance running athlete from Spain who competes in cross-country and marathon races. Ivan was just about to finish a cross country race when he noticed Abel Mutai, a Kenyan athlete who’d been in the lead, began to slow down as he approached the finish line. Abel did not speak Spanish so he got confused by the signs and thought he had already won. Ivan saw what was happening in an instant and could have easily sped past his opponent to win the race himself. Instead, he slowed his own pace and pointed Abel towards the real finish line so that he could win. “He was the rightful winner,” Ivan said later. “He created a gap that I couldn’t have closed if he hadn’t made a mistake. As soon as I saw he was stopping, I knew I wasn’t going to pass him.” Everyone who witnessed the race was rightfully impressed with Ivan’s actions! He didn’t hesitate to do the right thing, proving that sportsman spirit is still one of the most important aspects of sports. He taught us that honesty was the mother of all virtues. Later, a journalist asked Ivan why he didn’t take the opportunity to win the race and he gave a simple answer by saying, “My dream is that someday we can have a kind of community life.” When reminded that he was only seconds away from winning the race himself, he told the journalist, “But what would be the merit of my victory? What would be the honor of that medal? What would my Mom think of that?” Fernandez Anaya, champion of Spain in 5,000 meters in promise category, further added, “But even if they had told me that winning would have earned me a place in the Spanish team for the European championships, I wouldn’t have done it either. I also think that I have earned more of a name having done what I did than if I had actually won. And that is very important, because today, with the way things are in all circles, in soccer, in society, in politics, where it seems anything goes, a gesture of honesty goes down well.” We can say it with absolute certainty that Ivan’s mother must have been very proud of her son’s actions on the track that day! What a wonderful message do we all receive that victory is only sweetest when it’s well deserved and hard earned. Today, we live in a world which is driven by materialistic pursuits to amass more power, perks and privileges. By all means, the post-modern man is lost in a self-defeating quagmire of greed and is seen awfully entangled in get-rich quick culture Here comes yet another awe inspiring story of care, compassion and selflessness in a world which is badly caught in a cow-web of greed, selfish pursuits and engaged in a mad-rat race for loot and plunder. An anthropologist was doing her research on a tribe in a remote African village. The research lasted for a few weeks and the anthropologist got attached to the people, especially the young children. As the work was about to finish, she decided to reward the children as her parting gift. She collected a bag of candies and goodies from her belongings and put it in a bag under the tree. She called the children and told them, “Let’s play a game.” She drew a line about 100 meters from the tree and asked the children to line up. She explained to the children that it was a race and whoever ran the fastest would win the bag of candies placed under the tree. She instructed them to start running as soon as she gave them the signal. The children waited for her signal and then something strange happened. To her surprise, instead of running for the candies, the children held hands and walked together towards the bag of candies! Once they reached, they sat in a circle, distributed the candies evenly, and ate them while talking to each other. The anthropologist asked them, “Why didn’t you run? The person who ran fastest would have won the entire bag of candies.” A young girl looked up innocently and replied, “How can one of us be happy if all the others are sad?” She further added, “I am because we are!” Although the anthropologist had been studying the African tribe for weeks, she really understood the culture and its essence from the behavior of these children. The children were practicing “Ubuntu” in letter and spirit. Africans are proud to have developed and practiced this beautiful cultural value called Ubuntu. It is about the essence of being human; it is part of the gift that Africans have chosen to give to the world. It embraces hospitality, caring attitude, compassion, and the volunteering spirit to go the extra mile for the sake of another. We believe that a person is a person through other persons, that my humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably, with yours. When I dehumanize you, I inexorably dehumanize myself. The solitary human being is a contradiction in terms. Therefore, you seek to work for the common good because your humanity comes into its own in the community, in belonging. In a world where individualism and corporate greed has created so many problems – wars, poverty, hunger, discrimination, income disparity between the rich and poor, indiscriminate (and perhaps irreversible) environmental damage in the name of progress – Ubuntu. African tribe has a wonderful concept of community and humanity that we all can adopt. In many of these tribal villages, the greatest compliment you can give to another person is to tell them that they have “Ubuntu.” It means that you are an open person; you put common interests before your own personal gains, you co-operate, and have a sense of belonging to a greater community and a greater good. Today, we live in a world which is driven by materialistic pursuits to amass more power, perks and privileges. By all means, the post-modern man is lost in a self-defeating quagmire of greed and is seen awfully entangled in get-rich quick culture. Every person is busy in ensuring that he wins and succeeds by hook or crook, come what may. Ends justify the means and people have come to believe that nothing succeeds like success. By means fair or foul, in the process of securing success, we see humanity being cast to the four winds. That’s the most tragic part of this capitalistic economy where moral values are of little significance. Only profits and wealth accumulation count. Unfortunately, in our schools and colleges, we are teaching our children to score the highest marks and achieve straight AAs, by any means possible. There are no rules or values in sight, only a crazy cut-throat competition is the norm. We are hardly focused on building the moral fiber of our children which, indeed, is of the far greater essence than merely getting better grades. Time has already come that we learn to teach our children that means justify the ends and not the vice versa. We must teach our children like Ivan Anaya of Spain, at times, losing for someone else is far nobler than winning for personal glory. Having integrity of character and standing taller on a higher moral ground is more glorious than receiving medals on a victory stand, with a success achieved through dubious means. We must also teach them the spirit of “Ubuntu”, the fantastic human virtue embodied in the African tradition which prefers collective good to individual gain. Humanity is and has to be the strongest bond which holds us together as one extended family on the planet earth. Each of us must remember that I am because we are! The writer is a civil servant by profession, a writer by choice and a motivational speaker by passion!