Bruce Jenner wasn?t the fastest. He wasn?t the strongest. He didn?t jump the highest, and he couldn?t throw the farthest. But in 1976, Jenner walked away with the Olympic gold medal in the decathlon and the title of ?World?s Greatest Athlete.?
The decathlon is considered by many to be the hardest Olympic competition. Jenner didn?t excel in any one thing, but his talents and abilities across the board are what set him apart from everyone else and made him a legend.
Our society is beginning to stress the idea of the decathlon less and less. It?s all about picking your one thing and doing it better than anyone else. We don?t seem to care that the scientist can?t write. They won in their event, and that is enough. We have been locking people in the lofty tower of their major, not caring that they will never be able to venture out of it.
Here at UTD we can crank out the best and the brightest in engineering and the sciences, but we need to consider the ramifications of a one-sided education. We have to give due emphasis to writing and the arts.
College is about the opportunity to try new things and find your way in life, but we are too busy making an assembly line for our perfect society to let students live. And it?s not all the university?s fault. We have been choosing to lock ourselves up with our computers.
We have been choosing to stick with what we know and shun everything else. This is not a call to lose focus or deprive ourselves of our truest loves, but merely to take the blinders off now and see the realm of possibilities.
We must strive not only to reign in our chosen field, but to be the best overall. If we want the best, the stuff of legends, coming from our school, we must push to make these changes. We must push ourselves and each other out of the security of what we know and into the excitement of what we can learn. We must revive the decathlon.