Thoughts on Winning: Essay

There are times I'm not sure what's worse: the fact that our way of life drives us to burn out or that we make a spectator sport out of watching others go supernova. You know, it's Adonis DNA that got all of us into this mess in the first place. Our world has been living on speed for too long, consuming everything it its path without a thought to the future.

So I ask you...what is winning? Is it waking up on the far side of forty, realizing that everyone around you is there only because you are their paycheck? Is it working for over twenty years for a company that lays you off with a paltry severance package and not even a thank-you? Is it Botoxing yourself to perfection only to find out about your husband's younger lover by chance? Is it being able to afford whatever you want and realizing that you are bored with all of it every single moment of your life?

It seems we must either drive ourselves crazy for our loved ones or in pursuit of some mythical happiness we're told we should want. And if our notions of happy don't fit in with society's dangling carrots, then we don't cut it in this carnal world. But we don't come here carnal. We come here vulnerable. These mighty men we hold in such high esteem suckled at the breast or bottle the same as I.

So we'll tell ourselves this is all about power, that we need to have a "game face" on to win. Berate the ones who fall behind in misery, lamenting towards the sky in agony over loved ones who die, mistakes made, terrors lived. As long as it's not us, we're okay. It's someone else's problem.

I have heard over and over that we have reached the height of human evolution. Yet for all our knowledge, we still haven't learned to share, love, or be kind. These past years, I've looked around in shame. My countrymen marching so other people can't have health care. Teachers and politicians who can't see that education isn't about them, but the children. Adults holding childish signs at funerals as if they were never taught to have respect for the dead and the grieving. A growing hatred for Muslims when our major shootings in this country prove that terrorism is already a homegrown phenomenon. Ridiculous measures being taken against illegal immigrants as if the Founding Fathers were native born. Therefore, watching the news is like looking at toddlers in a playground.

Oh, I know. It's not what it's looks like. This is winning, right? Silly me. I thought tricks were for kids.

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