I am young by life's standards but I have lived long enough to know what life is about. Life is not about being the best or being the most wealthy. Life is about loving people: your friends, your family, everyone for that matter.
From a very young age people are forced to conform to a set of standards provided by the cool group. Remember elementary school or highschool? I sure do. Speaking as a male, if one was not a jock, wearing $1000000 worth of the "cool" clothes, hung like a horse, ripped like Thor then one was a loser. The goal during adolescence and through the teenage years was to be hot, be good at sports, "bang" as many girls as possible and live heartily off of daddy's money.
Oddly enough, for all those individuals who could not hope to attain this, which I surely was one of them, there was another means of segregation, of competition to see who is the best: namely GPA.
Even the geeks and nerds had their own special codes of conduct, their own levels of achievement. If you weren't a computer wiz, or were not at the top of your class, then you were nothing to them either.
So the jocks and the preps ridiculed the academians for not being like "them" and the scholastics silently laughed, preconceiving the days when they would essentially "own" the world.
Am I wrong here? I can honestly say that outside of royalty, the richest and most successful people in the world are those who have the brains and not the brawn. I'm not talking about millions of dollars I'm talking about billions of dollars.
The race began early and continued on after highschool. Some went to Post-secondary where the elite would flock to Ivy League or Top Ten schools, barking derogatory comments to all those who mocked them and some went to work, finding what they could, their reign of glory having ended at the voice of a Valedictorian whom once was their verbally and physically abused bitch.
University and College is nothing more than an advanced state of what existed in highschool. Now the the hate among humans really begins to show. Here one is taught that life is about victory, about money, about success. Not success of the whole species, the enlightenment of all humankind at once, but rather personal growth: financial, spiritual and mental.
The strong survive and to hell with those beneath you. The rich have it made and happiness is in the bag when you can laugh all the way to the bank.
Wealth is not the only sign of competition. Intelligence is equally as fierce. Like money, knowledge is not pursued with the idea of sharing it with the world, rather it is held that the most intelligent somehow have a higher degree of importance on the food chain called society. Who decreed this? Why is it that people who are not knowledgable in a certain area are somehow less important, less human, less deserving of life than these people?
There may be some sweeping generalizations here, but from my experiences this is a very solid philosophy held by the majority throughout the world.
Let's take it down some levels and just look at one's family. Who is perhaps deemed more important, seemingly more loved than (s)he that has achieved the most in life, has gained the most, possesses the most etc.
It is so in my family, and in many families I have come in contact with.
Why can't we all look at a homeless person, I mean really look at them, and identify that they are in fact a person- not unlike you or I. That homeless person, when dead will be just as dead as you or I someday. We are all truly equal in death, and as life works towards obtaining death, life in essence is about discovering our own equality with everyone who is, who was and who will be.
Most people believe that when we die, we are either finished altogether, or that we will live on in Heaven or some other similar place. If so, our Earthly accomplishments remain on Earth. Our material things remain here as well. Why struggle so hard to beat people at everything to be the richest, the smartest, the most athletic the most sexually proficient when you can instead live to love everyone.
It sickens me to see people being hurt so much by others only to turn around and do the same to others still, when given the chance.
A perfect example are the geeks of the 'net who live to shove their computer prowess in the faces of those "hard headed jocks" et al., who have no idea about linux, networks or even the reset button.
Don't we all remember that ridicule? Then why do it to others? Why can't we start being the mature ones, the ones to search for knowledge because knowledge is pure truth, and share that truth with the world?
I know I have not done so...and it sickens me. I hope I can start to be a better person now, after thinking on it. I hope you all can be too.
I suppose that whether life is a competition or not depends on the person. Some people are driven to compete in various ways; and I don't think there is anything wrong with this. Competition is one of the fine qualities in human nature--whether it is used for good or evil purposes depends on the individual and the situation.

My goal in life is to know everything there is to know--to perfection. I suppose that this is competition; but is it wrong? I don't think so. (This is obviously a competition that I'm not going to win but I still strive anyway.)

Ultimately, competition is very fun and is necessary for our happiness--this is why we enjoy sports so much. Obviously, it can be taken to absurd extremes. However, if taken in moderation, all will be well.

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