A friend recently told me that her son was disappointed as he did not get number one in class in his exam. He came second and it hurt him badly. This boy is only 9 years old and my friend, being a concerned mother, did everything she could to help her son overcome the feeling; heart to heart talk, motivational session etc.
Last week, I had an invitation as a judge for a district event and there, I met some friends. As usual this kind of event is where we have the chance to have a long chat or sharing session. A friend told me her experience in a recent district event which took place 3 weeks earlier. A participating team was not satisfied as the school did not win but came second. My friend who was the chief judge was approached by a few students demanding for reasons why they were second and not first. The story went on......
These two anecdotes are based on one main thing.......wanting to be the first. In my growing up years, I was surrounded by people wanting to be first in every thing they did. Until now, I still hear stories and experiences about wanting and obsessing to be the first. Sometimes I wonder , isn't there anything else beside being the first, why some people are too obsessed eyeing for being the first and is it the only thing that makes them happy and contented with life?
I have many friends who were first in class, exams, sports, competitions during school days and the first rank officers at work . Being the first is not the only thing that makes them happy, there are many other things and values in life which are more important and should be appreciated. You could be the first in class but is it a promise or an assurance that you would be an excellent person later in your life? You could be the champion in a competition but is it your only goal in participating in the competition? How about other people or students who know they are not the likely winners but they still take part and compete? What is their purpose in taking part to compete should they know they could not win? For those who have been winners or the number one most of the times, they should be thankful and it is alright if they come second or third sometimes. This is because being the second or third does not mean that you lose totally. Look at the other side of the coin, the thing you learn from being second or third, such as although you think you are good and have done your best, there are still things you overlook or weaknesses which you do not see or realise. Move on and mend your weaknesses or errors by looking at or sampling other people's strengths. You are just human beings like other people who are not perfect and cannot be the best in everything all the times.
As I mentioned earlier, being the second or third does not mean you lose. Sometimes it is better to be the second than the first. For example, a friend told me one day that she found out she was not her husband's first love and this made her upset and miserable. She felt rejected and frustrated. She treated life as if it was meaningless and felt that her husband did not give all his love to her as she was the second not the first woman her husband met and loved. I told her that she was lucky. She was shocked upon hearing my words. I asked her to choose; to be the first love of her husband but not be able to marry him and share her life with him or be the second love but being married to him and share all his joys and sorrows? She should be grateful because she is the one her husband chose and married to not his first love. She looked at me and paused. She thanked me continuously and when I met her again a few weeks ago, she was happier. Now, she appreciates and loves her husband more than before.
You see, we cannot have the best of everything in life. The most important is, make the best of what we have.