Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Running for Humility

Dear Bloggers,

What would you consider to be your greatest test of success? For some, it's having that title of being number one. Others would consider that having genuine joy is their greatest feat of entitlement. But for some, I've realized that their greatest call to success is being able to beat someone else.

Now, I'm not speaking in the sense of competing in a race and winning, or being picked for a job over a list of other candidates. I'm talking about specifically picking a person and making it a goal to beat them.

I was watching an old episode of "Ren and Stimpy" where Stimpy had a fan club and began receiving letters telling him how he was their favorite, and they hated Ren. ("What is he, some type of mosquito?")

For Ren to deal with his feelings of inadequacy, he decided to become Stimpy's Fan Club President. However, that just impacted his feelings, and almost drove him to insanity (and murder... should I have been allowed to watch this as a child...?)

This made me think of instances in my own life where I was put in a position of being around someone who made me feel insecure, or vice versa. I remember staying up late in college looking for obscure quotes from anyone, Nietzsche, Marx, Shakespeare, John Lennon, Bugs Bunny, just to one up this guy who would smugly answer every question the professor said with: "Well, as Robert Frost said..."

I remember in high school girls telling me how they were going to get hair extensions and "it's going to be so much longer than your's." I'm sorry, but when did we start competing? Can I at least stretch first?

It wasn't until I realized that the time I spent to one up certain people in my life, could be used for so many other important things. I decided that instead of seeing this person as a threat, to see them as inspiration to better myself. When I made that decision, I was able to focus more on where I needed improvement. In class, I focused more on what the teacher said, and my own obscure and "deep" quotes and comparisons came much more naturally.

So to you, dear readers, you will always find someone who could challenge your position as top dog in one aspect of your life. However, if you focus more on encouraging yourself, instead of trying to beat the person next to you, you could still win the race your running.

Humility, it's like Gatorade, but for the soul.


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