On your marks, get set, go! Arms flailing, the girls rush forward. The stronger of the two wins. Naturally. The children clap and cheer, the teachers smile their appreciation. The girl who has won laughs happily and runs back in triumph. I look at the girl who has lost. In her eyes, I see shame, I see fear, I see despair. Shame at not being able to win. fear of what others are thinking, despair at not knowing what to do next. I see a soul that is slowly being bruised and brutalised by comparison. Something within her has withered. I want to tell her that she is beautiful and sensitive, that this race doesn’t matter, that it’s just a silly system that grown-ups invented for their own selfish reasons. I want to give her something to make her feel better. In my hand, I have an orange, Impulsively, I reach forward, take the hand of this child and put the orange into it. ‘Take this’, I say to her. ‘It’s for coming second.’
— Excerpt from “Ramblings on a beach” by Kabir Bedi
Oh, isn’t the world drunk on competition!
Everyone wants to outdo each other. Run, run, life is a race. The only purpose is to win the rat race. We’re so high on the thought that we easily fail to recognize the little things that we lose, merely by winning a good-for-nothing rat race.
How many poeple have we hurt, how many people we’ve made feel small. We’ve crushed too many souls. We’ve lost friends, family, health and joy. It’s all our obsessive need to belong, to be on top, to succeed. The need to override others, to control, to influence, to manipulate, to exploit.
What’s the point? What do we gain by walking over the very things that matter the most to us?
But hey, we’ve won the race! And now we’re alone.