So H & I continued our journey back home, overtaking cars on the highway and being overtaken. Due to some road works coupled with an accident, we were obliged to slow down, which made us take notice of a beautiful mini cooper that was just ahead of us ( we always admire good cars). For some reason we unanimously decided to overtake this person and make sure we drove ahead of him, so then the ‘competition’ commenced. I am quite sure this individual had no idea we were in a contest with him. After about 10 mins of overtaking each other, we suddenly asked ourselves “why are we doing this? We don’t know this fellow neither where he is coming from, nor where he is heading to or how long he has been on the road driving! What is the point of this undefined ‘race’ with each other? Personally, I believe life is not a competition, but a unique journey.
Looking up the word competition from Webster’s Online Dictionary of English Language, it reads:
The act or process of trying to get or win something (such as a prize or a higher level of success) that someone else is also trying to get or win : the act or process of competing.
In a competition, the aim is to win! Win a prize, get an award or recognition at all cost. All competitive activities or events have laid down rules that the contestants must abide by. Let’s take for instance in a soccer game, each team is made up of 11 players, who have to play 90 mins according to the rules and regulations governing a soccer match, and the winner gets rewarded (even in a tie, they share the points at least).
In a competitive entrance examination into a program of study or professional school, the candidates are subjected to the same rules, are exposed to the same circumstances, timed equally and only the best get selected. In the above examples, you have no choice but to compete because that what it is. Compete or loose!
But in many aspects of life’s tortuous journey, taking the pathway of competition may be a quick recipe for depression. There is a lot of pressure these days, especially on young people. The pressure to achieve desired goals, the pressure to get married, the pressure to be successful in school, business, career… you name it.
The fact that everyone around you is getting hooked up with a spouse should not weary you to death. You are not in competition with them, I have friends who got married many years before I ever dreamed of being a wife, I equally have some who are still single, patiently waiting for the right time. So no pressure girl, marriage is not a contest where the winner gets an award. In fact, if you know of any organization that gives an award to people who got married first or for longevity, let me know so that I can maybe register with my 4 years certificate of marriage.
Sometimes you see a picture of two ladies with a tag “who wore it better?” and I am like “who cares”? Were those two in a contest? Spending valued time to check out who wears what is a sheer waste of resources as far as I am concerned. She wears Prada, he wears Gucci, their kids are in Armani then you feel intimidated, like seriously?
Other times it is a silent competition of who is a better mama. Now listen, young mama! Get advice from sage mothers, but never feel pressured in your journey as a newbie mom. Do your best with your little one(s) and learn from others if you have to, but remember you are in no competition. Someone said “do not compare your beginning to their middle” Stay in your lane.
Pressure, pressure, pressure pressure , Is that all life’s about?
You are a unique individual, walking on a unique path, having a peculiar story heading to an assured destination. I know the traditional, as well as social media, plays a vital role in promoting this competitive spirit, it may have its good side, (it’s a good fuel of capitalism) but the majority of it is just so wrong.
Remember the person you are competing with may not be aware you are in a contest with him/her. You were not born on the same day, even if you were, you did not have the same parents or education. Now let’s assume you shared the above conditions, your DNA’s can never match 100%.
Just like in our case, we decided to ‘race’ a motorist who possibly was having a peaceful ride back home, clearly didn’t take off with us, who didn’t even have the same destination. Okay, we arrived our destination before him, then WHAT? That’s how senseless it can be to live life as though it were a contest.
Let off the pressure society constantly tries to place on you and take your unique journey forward not being slothful though.
Remember the words of “THE DESIDERATA “1927
…If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.