I used to be very competitive. I had a killer instinct when it came to winning. I tried not to be a bad sport, but I wanted to be the victor in games, grades, you name it. It gave me a thrill to come out on top. Somewhere along the way I took a complete one hundred eighty degree turn and literally don’t care one way or another about attempting to be on top in any way. I simply want to enjoy life and do my best. I no longer stew over what my ranking might be. I suppose that I have reached a point at which there just seem to be better things to do than worry about winning.
It’s an odd and comforting feeling given my past longing to compete even with myself. I suppose that I’ve finally feel good without needing reassurances outside of my own confidence. Maybe this is what really growing up feels like, I’m one hundred percent comfortable in my own skin. I’m quite content, so much so that I can’t even think of things that I might want for my birthday or Christmas other than being able to help those who have so much less that I do. All I really desire is to quietly spend my days bringing a modicum of joy to the people I encounter.
I think about the future and I have to admit to worrying for our younger generations. We don’t always treat them as well as we should. I shudder whenever I hear older adults trashing them, contending that they are lazy and spoiled. I know better than that and it bothers me that some people really do believe all of the insults hurled at those who are young and eager to make a difference in the world.
I have grave concerns about the dangers of climate change. I really do believe that we are flirting with dangers that will only grow worse if we continue to deny our role in damaging the planet. When NASA engineers tells us that our earth is in a fragile state which we may not be able to repair if we wait much longer, I listen to them. They have no reason to simply frighten us. They are sounding the alarm and we are looking away.
I see people all over the world living in poverty and under the dominance of authoritarian governments. I truly wish that we would be more concerned with such things than worrying about the cost of the many luxuries that we take for granted. I possess so much and often feel that it would not hurt me to share much more than I presently do.
I look at the world and my future and see that I am at once both unimportant and critical to the outcome of our planet. I am no more exceptional than another human whose privileges and freedoms are less than mine. At the same time how I and every other person on earth votes, and lives, and shares makes a stunning difference in what the future of our young will prove to be. We can decide not to worry about our choices because we won’t be around if and when things get bad, or we can begin the process of healing that seems to be so needed all over the world.
I often think of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who in his lifetime was accused of being unpatriotic, a communist, and many other pejoratives. Some saw him as a threat to our nation. Others viewed him as a silly dreamer who envisioned an impossible world. I have always thought of him as a great hero, one of the most most Christian and courageous men to walk the earth. I know that I will never have the ability to be great like he was, but I can certainly attempt to model my life on his.
That means working for my fellow humans. Sharing what I have. Understanding and loving all people. Remembering that the good book tells us that the first shall be last and the least among us must be honored. I don’t have to be gloomy or wear a hair shirt, but I can’t look away when I know that others are suffering. I am no more exceptional than any other human on this earth when the truth is told. Each of us is precious and each of us should be treated with the highest regard.
My mother and my grandmother taught me these things when I was a child. I was impressed by their examples even as a young girl. They showed me the way to behave even if I did not always follow their lead. I rejoice that I now fully comprehend what they were attempting to impress upon me. It certainly took me long enough to get to this glorious place in my development. I find great joy in being totally aware of the importance of each of us. Tearing each other down to make ourselves seem better is a blood sport that I firmly eschew.
I’ll still try to beat the computer at Scrabble or get the Wordle answer of the day in only three or fewer tries, but competing with my fellow travelers on this earth is no longer something that I want to do. I simply desire to enjoy what I have and share it whenever I have the opportunity. That is what brings me peace. It’s a wonderful feeling to have, so no more competing for me. I belong to team human race.