The Game of Life

In the 21st century we’re in a constant race to stay ahead. We have to stay caught up on the latest trends, know the latest news, keep up with where Sarah went for Spring break, and the race continues. When we aren’t ahead of the race, we’re the ones who can’t keep up in conversations, we’re the ones left behind. #FOMO, amirite?

So the lesson comes to be, it’s no fun to get left behind. No one wants to lose in a race, so we try our hardest to push ahead of everyone else until we’re left in an endless circle of winning and losing. We push so hard we lose sight of what’s really, truly important to us, until all that’s left is this husk of what’s in and what’s out. Until everything that once made us who we are is lost in the mix of trends that fill our closets.

As a runner, I know full well what it’s like to get left behind. What it’s like to get passed up. And as one of the slowest runner on my cross country team, I know full well what it means to get last place. I push and I push and I push to catch up, to pass somebody, anybody! And sometimes I do, but sometimes I’m left basking in my disappointment. Sometimes I’m the last runner who runs through that finish line, sweating and crying, muscles aching.

What I mean to say is, I know what it’s like. I know what it’s like to lose. And as competitive as I am, I hate it. But, at the end of the day, someone has to be last. So why not me? What exempts me from this pushing, competitive cycle?

If someone has to lose, and that “someone” ends up being me, maybe I shouldn’t treat it like such a bad thing. Because, you see, when I run through that finish line, I’m not alone. As I push into a sprint down that final stretch, my whole team stands on both sides of me, cheering me on. And the question comes to be: why can’t we be like that in life too?

If we stopped beating everyone down because they’re behind on what’s trending at the moment, or they don’t know what happened last Saturday, we wouldn’t have to fear getting beaten down too. We wouldn’t have to afraid to get behind, we wouldn’t have to be afraid to lose.

So lets stop with the competition, lets put an end to the race, and cheer all our #27’s on along with our #1’s. Because life shouldn’t be one giant popularity contest. There’s more to it than that. And if we end the race, we can enjoy the little things along the way.

Life isn’t a race, so let’s stop treating it like one.

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