The Humanistic Games: Braver, Kinder, Wiser—Harmoniously


The Olympics: a time of togetherness or tension?




If you are paying attention at all to the winter Olympics, you will hear and see over and over the motto: Faster Higher, Stronger—Together. It means run faster, throw further, and jump higher than rivals. The “together” addition came from the recent, COVID-19 delayed summer Tokyo Olympics in order to convey solidarity.

However, the sports competitions are often compromised by the underlying political competition. This cracks solidarity, including, this year, the diplomatic withdrawal of the US, the threat of Russia invading Ukraine, the human rights accusations against China, and even the climate-related need for the more injury-prone artificial snow.

Those underlying political games got me thinking in a positive psychiatry way of the potential for a different kind of games, say called the Humanistic Games. They can be played at any time by anybody. Here is my motto for them:

THE HUMANISTIC GAMES: Braver, Kinder, Wiser—Harmoniously

The braver would stand for the courage to speak and work for human rights. It is the courage to oppose both the extremes of critical race theory and cancel culture. It calls for a degree of heroic righteous rescuers when others are in politically incorrect trouble.

The kinder refers to how people treat one another, especially when no one else is watching. This is the everyday loving kindness that can ripple out from people to people, from the child development of babies to the respect of elders.

The wiser is using what we learn from experience at any age. Be open to feedback and learning what is right and good from mistakes.

The ending tag of harmoniously is akin to the addition of together to the Olympics motto, but more clearly with the goal of getting along, complementing one another, and reducing social psychopathologies. Together can also occur in mobs, gangs, and tribes, which can hurt others.

What motto words might you recommend for such Humanistic Games?

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry. A prolific writer and speaker, he received the one-time designation of Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association in 2002. He is an advocate for mental health issues relate to climate instability, burnout, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism for a better world. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric TimesTM.

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