When it comes to competing in something, you want to be the best. You want to come in first and have the crowd screaming your name and showering you in praise. However, this wasn’t the motive for two-time defending Olympic champion, 28 year-old Alistair Brownlee.
In the article Brother Helped to the Finish Before Collapsing in Dramatic Triathlon by Victor Mather, in final race of the World Triathlon Series in Cozumel, Mexico, Jonny Brownlee, Alistair’s brother was leading the race when he had to slow down due to exhaustion and dehydration. Alistair, who was tied for second stopped to help his brother to the finish line and then pushed him across first, putting him in second place. This humble act of kindness drew attention from fans and people all around the world.
When people carry out these acts of selflessness and kindness, it really makes you think about how you go about your life and the things you do to help others. Alistair could have easily ran ahead of his brother and crossed the finish line, but he knew that that would not make him feel good. He held on to his virtues and morals and knew that helping out his brother would make him feel better about him self than finishing the race would. This type of thinking is captivating and difficult for most people to comprehend. It is so easy for us to become selfish in times where we are in a position to gain something for ourselves. However, virtuous people and people of integrity know when it is the right time to put aside personal gains for the good of others. These ideas are wrapped up in Aristotle’s and Calhoun arguments for virtue and integrity. Not only did Alistair believe that helping other when they are in need no matter was the right thing to do, but he acted upon that belief when it presented it self in a very compromising situation.
So next time you are in a hurry to class and see someone drop their books, help them out. Someone might not give you a pat on the back, but you will feel better knowing you are a person of moral integrity.