I overheard two people talking the other day, they were supervising some kids at play… “There can only be one winner.” He said about the game in progress, with children running around having fun, unaware of the “rules”.
“I don’t want to be the one to tell that to the kids.” She said foreseeing the reactions.
“Why can’t they all win?” I asked.
I know that sounds idealistic and naive, after all life, like some games, puts some people on top. At least temporarily.
How can there be just one winner? If you are the fastest on the playground are you supposed to dominate in all areas of life then?
Telling a person or group that they are “the best” at one thing is great for their ego, and we all need that boost every now and then, but what about when you aren’t as good as someone else at one particular moment in time, are you a loser then? Thought of and treated as such? Is this what we are telling kids? They (we) have to live in constant one-upsmanship for the rest of their (our) lives?
That is a lot of pressure for someone to live up to, especially when trying to figure out what you are good at. It takes time, years maybe. I’m not stressing to be “the best”, because it is an impossible title to claim. What about being the best you can be, not as a comparison to or in competition with someone else, but because there is joy in learning and building on the strengths and gifts we all are given at birth.
What about being able to recognize strengths in others and knowing the value of teamwork?
What are we really trying to win?