Commonwealth Games - an opportunity to come together.

Humans thrive when we come together. We are social beings. This is our gift, our distinction and our greatest asset.

We prosper when we participate in ceremony, exchange knowledge, experience diversity through shared culture, and most importantly, meet face to face.  We gain greater understanding and empathy for each other. This prosperity goes well beyond the actual event because the growth happens in the preparation and it carries on long after the chairs are put away and the dishes cleaned.

In the lead up, communities are required to work in common enterprise, the experience and expertise in the community are put to the test, and procedures are refined. Along the way we fine-tune our skill sets, set additional goals to which we aspire, and work towards new standards, this not only applies to the central organizing committees. In addition, the infrastructure istested, facilities are renovated and new ones are built, individually organizations ramp up their engagement, people from all walks of life find themselves drawn in to share in the cause and the silos we once existed in are broken down.  As everything is inevitably examined through the visibility and scrutiny they are subjected to, all are asked to rise to the new benchmark, and if they can not do so, here lies the opportunity, and the responsibility now assigned a galvanized and focused community. We extend a helping hand, we participate in rising tides, and rise all boats.

During an event we celebrate, face-to-face, allow our cultures to express themselves, we acknowledge and embrace our distinctions and in doing so we highlight common threads. We see ourselves in each other and we breakdown the barriers that once separated us. We meet our neighbours and we engage with people from far away. We socialize, we connect, we share best practices, and we generate a transfer of knowledge. Artists perform, society examines itself, athletes compete and spectators aspire, and volunteers come together to participate and make their mark. Officials, and the committees they work for, see the fruits of their labour and in their own way they too inspire.

And then there is the legacy, here we are given another opportunity, to harness the momentum, to point ourselves in the direction to which we can express the best of ourselves. Best practices learned are implemented, friendships made carry on, the impressions left by others help us understand each other and we possess greater empathy towards one another. We feel inspired to keep moving, to greet one another, to lend a helping a hand and share the load.

We thrive when we come together as it is the ultimate gift we can give to one another.

Simon Whitfield