One man and his terminated contract have split Australia evenly into two camps. When a multi-million-dollar player, an icon of Australian sport is sacked, it is bound to create news headlines, but this case has continued longer than most expected and isn’t stopping anytime soon.
Regardless of the legal aspect of the case, and irrespective of the issue of the freedom of speech, Israel Folau has demonstrated qualities which we can all learn from, and that is why I love Israel Folau.
Courage. This is the first characteristic that Israel Folau has demonstrated throughout the entire process so far. He would have understood the possible consequences of his actions; loss of money, possible termination of contract and potential abuse from others, but he pursued his beliefs regardless of the possible effects. Notwithstanding your preconceived perceptions of Christianity and his views, it requires extreme courage to state your opinions when significant consequences are possible. This is something everyone struggles to do, and most people would have stopped after the abuse he received after the first post, but he continued to stand behind his beliefs.
Persistence. Many would consider this quality negative in this situation and that Folau should give up and acknowledge that he breached his contract and should accept the ramifications that come with that. However, Folau has pursued his beliefs, and although he has been vilified by the media, abused by individuals online and arguably faced discrimination by different online platforms, he has continued to persist in his goals, and I would dare say, will continue to endure all the way to the legal system. This is another quality which we lack within society today when roadblocks appear, or challenges arise, we are quick to give up, and move on to something new. However, Folau has illustrated what persistence looks like and how we should be persisting in what we believe in.
Resilience. Folau has been thrown around by the media, organisations, teammates, Rugby Australia and the general public, but each time he has picked himself up and continued to strive to achieve his goals. The boundaries haven’t fazed him but instead given him the motivation to come up with new strategies and ways to gain support. This quality has reached extinction within society. When someone gets knocked down by an event or random situation, many choose to respond in disappointment and give up. In fact, this has become the norm within society, with people unable to recover from unfortunate events or taking a significant amount of time to recover. Folau has demonstrated the characteristic of resilience through his ability to recover from disappointment positively and quickly.
The Israel Folau saga will continue for many more weeks, months and possibly years. There are definitely areas of Israel Folau’s character which must be examined and criticised, but we must also learn from the example Folau has left in critical areas. Folau has demonstrated extraordinary courage, persistence and resilience, something that we can all learn from. That is why I love Israel Folau.
Article 4 of the ‘Why I Love…’ Series – https://thelevinelowdown.com/why-i-love/