The Ultimate Race

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

rabbit 2

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.


3 thoughts on “The Ultimate Race

  1. Sometimes I wonder if the competitive nature of person is set at birth or is it something learned from one’s environment. Or maybe (probably) a combination of both. I never saw the point in competition except against my own performance, there is always someone better and worse (I feel this sentence is grammatically incorrect somehow ha)


    • Hey there Lewis,
      I’ve got to agree, the best the only worthwhile competition is with the self – partly because, “there is always someone better and worse,” as you put it. I once read this poem somewhere:

      “What matters if I live a hundred years?
      A tortoise lives ten times more”

      I really couldn’t remember the exact words or locate the origin, but your comment reminded me of it. True words of wisdom, huh?

      Thanks for dropping by, hope you’re having a good time in your travels. Great sketches over at your blog!


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