When Spirituality is Lost
About once a month I drive between Buxton in the High Peak of Derbyshire and Stockport my home. There are two choices of route. One is via a relatively newly constructed four lane bypass and the other is by a scenic route over 'Long Hill' to Whalley Bridge. The bypass route is probably quicker but the 'Long Hill' route with it's ups and down - views over the hills and twisty bends is more pleasant. You could say if you think about such things, one route feeds the soul or inner self while the other satisfies our materialistic need for speed.
In modern pigeon racing, especially in the UK, something similar is happening. Long races tend to feed the inner self while sprint or short races satisfy our materialistic needs. At the moment short or sprint races seem to have captured the will of the modern sport. This can be seen at club level where the need for speed in short races also tends to split clubs into smaller and ever smaller units. This is simply because position is so important in short races. The result of this lack of a spiritual base is pigeon racing is gradually destroying the sport. By simply increasing speed but denying the need for guts.
This trend is not without its consequence. If we fail to feed the inner self and for commercial reasons continually breed pigeons lacking guts, the spirit suffers. This choice might not seem important to those who are running things. . Nevertheless ‘speed thinking’ that destroys the ‘spiritual’ is not good. Homing at its heart carries a mystery. The greater the distance the deeper the mystery thus the loss of the sports spiritual side is bound to have a long term ugly effect and in the end be hugely costly. Ask any psychiatrist about the need for spiritual health. Usually we think of it in terms of morale in an army but low morale can also show itself in wider contexts like a whole nation or an entire sport. Today the morale of our own little pastime is as low as it has ever been.
Somehow the sport has to learn to take the longer scenic route avoid the quick bypass - be a bit slower, but preserve our spirit. We should do this for the simple reason it is a healthy thing to do.