Years ago, when I was in my second year of teaching, a colleague told one of my students, in an IEP meeting, “You know, it’s called the human RACE for a reason.”
I chuckled, which earned me dirty look, as this well-meaning teacher went on to explain to the young lady that it’s a world where you eat or be eaten, and she will have to work harder, in order to have a place.
The student went on to do well, but what the teacher said never sat right with me.
Another case in point. Looking at a site with stats on my blog, it listed my largest “competitors.” Competitors? Seriously? As if one of us gets a trophy for having the most readers?
Clearly, the designer of that site didn’t get it.
Let’s take look at your typical foot race. Yeah, it’s pretty competitive for the top places. But you don’t have to go much further back, and the goal is no longer to beat out the other runners, it’s to beat your personal record. For some, it’s just to finish the race. And it doesn’t hurt you at all if the other runners beat their personal records as well. In fact, you will celebrate with them if they do. You will encourage those who are thinking about quitting the race.
Everyone who finishes the marathon, or half-marathon, gets the sticker for their car. It doesn’t matter where they placed.
If we’re living our lives trying to crush others in order to get ahead, we’re missing the point. If we’re living for nothing but personal gain, our time here is meaningless. We will accomplish nothing lasting.
If we want to change the world, we can do it. We can leave our mark, do something that matters, that lasts. But we can’t do it alone. One person is like a mere length of string, easily broken under strain, easily snapped. But woven together, the many lengths of string form an unbreakable rope.
We need each other. We need to re-establish community and build each other up. Together, we can bring an end to the mindset that the world is cutthroat place, without enough good to go around. Together, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.
Note: Please take a look at yesterday’s post, if you haven’t already. There is still room for you to join our weight loss group, if you are interested! We will get that going by the end of the week.