Saturday, 6 April 2013

Why not first?


The world always looks at the person who’s the first. In this rate race, we all want to emerge winners. Nobody ever remembered the person who came second. Does that make the person at the second position inferior? Nope. It takes effort to even come second. One has to aim for the top and not all can be the winners.

I recently went to a parent teacher meeting. The kid who stood first was being praised by all; mothers made a role model almost instantly. The kid who came second stood away from the glory, his mother whispering “U too can be there next session, just work a bit extra hard my dear.” The teacher praised his talent however, gave the same gyan and the poor kid gave a helpless smile. The topper looked at him and gave him a “I am a topper look”. Watching this, from a distance, I was surprised. In a class of 40 bright students, getting the second position was also an achievement. Why not be happy and content with what u achieved today than dismissing it for better prospects in an unknown future? I wondered what we are teaching our generation. On one hand, we say, “there’s too much stress, take it easy”, on other hand, we smartly declare that anything below the top is just not acceptable. 

We all remember the person who climbed Mr Everest first, put the first foot on moon, etc etc. So does that wash it out for the second person?

Then, there are times when getting the second position is purely a work of destiny. A friend, who is a typical Mills & Boons afficionado, was cribbing recently that she is her boyfriend’s second love. She cried and wished she had met him a few years ago so that she would get his first love which would have been ideal, more romantic, blah blah blah! I tried to comfort her by telling her that it’s the present that matters, not the past. As long as their love gives them enough happiness, that’s the best for them. Even gave her some celeb examples. But she went on and on and gave me such arguments about the concept of one’s first love in life that surprised me. Nevertheless, I gave her some gyan about being content with what we have and also gave her a chocolate.

Recently, at a shop, as soon as I picked up a kurta, a lady came and said, “this is so beautiful, I was looking at this, but by the time I came to pick it, u had already picked it up. I won’t even get the same combination now”. There were several other good kurtas in the store, but since I had picked up this good Kurta first, she wasn’t willing to explore the second best alternative. “Wow, so this is like coming first in race”, I thought and smiled.

Me wonderzzz ….
The race has made winning such an important task that every day and everywhere, I see people striving to be the first one -be it in queues, corporate world, or even shops. Have written previously about it here...

Was trying to find some images from Google for this blog and here are some real funny ones I found!



29 comments:

  1. Very disheartening indeed! Even if a person comes second just by 1 or 2 marks he is labelled-second and ignored! People should change their mindset!Nice post,loved the pics:)

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  2. A person would be termed loser, if he sits down because he came last or even second as a matter of fact.

    Ans as you rightly said, the first is recognized. It is how the world works, I guess. The second is not remembered even if they worked as hard as the first guy. Sometimes, it is sheer luck sometimes, its destiny.

    Liked the pics.

    Take Care and keep writing. :)

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  3. Sahivi,

    Not only today but ages before the same competition thing was there. For e.g. around 5100 years back, there was huge mystery " Who was the best archer?" Arjuna or Karna . Since before the war they had no reason to actually fight , they used to compare their teachers also . Guru Parashuram was no. 1 Guru at that time who taught how to use weapons.
    Same thing applied for Bhima and Duryodhana that who was best and first in fighting with mace ?

    Its a tradition from our ancestors when God actually in human form ( Lord Krishna) was present. And this will continue in future and nothing can be done about it.

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    1. Thanks Vishal! While I understand this is an inherent part of the system and competition is healthy, in the past few years, we have made this race so overhyped that a lot of people, specially kids feel overburdened with stress. My idea is not to do away with the competition, but also appreciate the accomplishments, however, big or small as the small joys is what life is all about.

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    2. For me participation and giving 100 % is more important rather than winning. I was just trying to give you an idea that this biased nature of human being towards no 1 and no 2 is going on from the past centuries when Lord was present and in front of him and this will go on.

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    3. Yep. Got ur point! Thanks! I just hope the bias reduces...we all need to take some time off and enjoy wat v have!

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  4. So true, we never even give credits to the ones who come 'second'. Always being the second ranker in school, and 'second' or 'third' in almost everything, people's reaction always disheartened me, so i can understand the post very well.

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  5. Even the winner in a ratrace is just a rat. :-)

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  6. i beg to differ here completely with all of u .... either promote no competition at all....but if u promote competition , its only the best who deserves applauds ...only then the other participants would realize when they are there they be the best .. runner - up is a consoling prize- koi baat nahi beta ... agli baar !! but the moment 1 gets praised for being 2nd or 3rd .. we kill his/her zeal to reach new highs!!

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    1. Thanks. As I have mentioned in the reply to Vishal, its good to have competition. But it shudn't reach such heights that we burden the participants with unnecessary stress.At the end of the day, we also need to sit back and get a feel good factor about wat v have, coz one cant be at the top alwayz.

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  7. i beg to differ here completely with all of u .... either promote no competition at all....but if u promote competition , its only the best who deserves applauds ...only then the other participants would realize when they are there they be the best .. runner - up is a consoling prize- koi baat nahi beta ... agli baar !! but the moment 1 gets praised for being 2nd or 3rd .. we kill his/her zeal to reach new highs!!

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  8. Our life is full of mad races, unfortunately, we induct into it our children too. Nice, thought-stirring write.

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  9. It's always a race ... and no one seems to know why. Why not stop the race, stand, rest a little and enjoy the beauty around?

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  10. Shaivi, that's a fine piece on the mad race for the top. People always forget two things, however:

    (1) It tends to get lonely at the top.
    (2) No one can forever be on the top or the first places. it's against the laws of nature.

    It would be a lot more beautiful world if we all focused on quality rather than quantity of our efforts.

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  11. I will say the same what some of the commenters have said here.
    Top position isn't forever.
    And don't be a part of rat race because even if you win it, you will still be a rat. :)

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  12. Very well said. These things start from home which is the first school. The stress which parents impose on us to the best in everything is unbearable. I am 27 and still running in the rat race. I want to be content and happy in my life rather being obsessed with success.My parents still expect me to be top and compare me with every tom dick and harry. The feeling is really unbearable.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. Yes the unnecessary stress is bugging.
      Welcome to my blog!

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  13. Acha likha h apne...bhot wajib bat h ye..
    Esi hi h duniya...bilkul swarthi si...

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Its great to share. Would love to have your valuable comments on my blog...:)