Have you heard about the Spanish athlete who gave up his chance to win a cross-country race in Burlada, Navarre? He was running second as the athletes entered the finishing straight, when he saw the Kenyan runner Abel Mutai (3,000 meter gold medallist at the London Olympics) mistakenly pull up about 10 meters before the finish, thinking he had already crossed the line. Not being a Spanish speaker, he didn’t understand the shouts from spectators to keep going.
It’s almost impossible not to be aware of the questions being asked by the media at the moment concerning the behaviour of Jimmy Savile. We wonder why those in a position to do so didn’t challenge him. I am reminded again of the issue of the interaction of power and responsibility. There are many manifestations of power: it may come from celebrity status; physical strength; force of personality; authority associated with leadership. Power is a gift from those who accord it to us; we should use it wisely and judiciously for their benefit.