I find it quite sad to hear this week about the toxic environment in the elite Australian Swimming community. Why would I be sad you might ask after all this toxic environment seems to raise its weary head in all sorts of sectors these days.
This doesn’t just happen in the areas of sport it happens in everyday life and at work. It takes a strong person to endure the toxic environment whether it be in the home, in sport or at work. It takes an even stronger person to call it out and make others face up to their responsibilities and to contribute to a healthy space for everyone. What is it that causes individuals to either ignore, condone, or contribute to the toxicity of an environment?
What does the Bible teach us about toxic environments?
Through fellowship with Christ, we have the great gift of God’s help and counsel in the day-to-day struggle. And we know that no matter how bad things may seem in the moment, there is a day of reckoning.
In our school communities there will be people we know who are enduring a toxic environment, not because they want to but maybe because they have to stay where they are. As leaders in Lutheran schools we need to reach out and support anyone who we know is in this unfortunate situation and pray for them. We also need to pray for those that we know contribute to the toxicity of an environment. Far too many lives are affected by the behaviours of those who have power over others.
So, Swimming Australia say they are working through a number of issues and the toxic environment is one of those issues.
- What will they unfold?
- Will it be a true investigation as to what really goes on?
Only time will tell, however it will be too late for some swimmers who will have walked away because they feel they have no other choice. You see one of the problems in situations such as this is that it doesn’t matter who you turn to, sometimes nothing is ever resolved. One can only hope that this time things will be different.
Dear heavenly father, I pray that when we know of a toxic environment that you give us the strength to speak up, stand up and offer support to those in need. Amen.