For my girls (and a little bit for me), PART 26

26. What notion do you think the world has most wrong?

The world says we deserve a trophy for showing up. We are all first place, no matter what the score of the game. We are equal players in the game of Life.

No.

That is simply not the case, and I fear for you girls as you mature into this we’re-all-winners world. I’ll agree that we’re all special. Every person in the history of the world brought something to this thing called Life that made them unique and perfectly as they should be. I get that, but we aren’t all “winners” just because we want to be.

Everyone should be encouraged to do their best. In each of us lies the potential to do something. It might not be that we are destined to be a professional football player, the first female president of the United States, a movie star or a neurosurgeon. Instead, you might be meant for the less-famous greatness of life as a teacher as you help people gain the skills and knowledge they need to survive in our world or as a hairdresser to make someone feel beautiful on the outside when they might not feel so attractive on the inside. Maybe you will be the trash collector who always has a friendly “hello” for people as he pulls their can to the street or maybe your greatness lies in creating a pleasant retail experience at the mall, spreading joy through courteous waiting of tables or serving as a public defender who is assigned cases no one else will take and still treats each client with respect and compassion.

Whatever your lot in Life, I hope you approach it with a wholehearted zeal and do the best you can at whatever it is you do.

But you aren’t a winner just because you wake up and breathe.

Life requires effort. The world has evolved to a reward-everyone-regardless-of-effort place, and that is (in my opinion) not a good thing. If no one is allowed to stand out from the crowd for fear of upsetting someone whose skills in a particular area might not be up to par, why should anyone go to the trouble of putting forth an effort? If you know you are going to be acknowledged equally with someone who is pitifully lacking in whatever it is you are doing, why would you continue to strive for improvement and success?

We have redefined success as simply showing up, but being a winner means working hard at something. It means being a team player when you need to support the greater good and taking your place in the spotlight when your star shines more brightly than the rest. It means understanding that there will be times when someone else or some other team is better than you at something and you have to accept second, third or fifteenth place.

Not everyone is a winner. Some people are miserable no matter what. They see only negativity and reasons to gripe. They choose not to be friendly and welcoming with their fellow travelers through Life’s journey. These are people who feel the world owes them something, whether it’s recognition, money, a better job or a free ride.

If you learn nothing else from this blog series or from me as your mother, learn this – nobody owes you a trophy unless you earn it. You are going to fail. You are not always going to be in first place. You may never be in first place.

Being a winner means earning your way to success, but it does not mean you have to be in first place to win. You may feel good that you were able to compete in a game in which you did not come in first place or that you were asked to apply for a job that you ultimately did not receive. It may mean that your team didn’t score the most homeruns, turn in the winning bid for a job or gain the recognition you sought from the boss, but you put forth a valuable effort and performed as well as you could.

You can be a winner without ever seeing the winner’s circle from the inside.

But you do not deserve to stand in the winner’s circle just because you showed up to the game and stood by while others did their best. Get busy and earn your chance to step across that perfectly rounded line into the circle of champions. Be the best you that you can be, and let the world know the Mixon girls are here to win. 

Just don’t expect a trophy simply for showing up.

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About Rebecca Mixon

If you attend my funeral, please wear red. Make sure my loved ones do not bury me in shoes, and make sure they don't let the undertaker make me look ridiculous. I want beautiful music and lots of storytelling. All that will be great once I'm gone from this Earth. But, while I'm here, give me my flowers while I live. It has come to my attention lately that we don't "give people their flowers" until it's too late for them to enjoy the beauty, the colors, the sentiment. I'm changing that. The people in my life will know how they are appreciated and loved, and they will smell the aroma of their flowers as often as I get the chance to tell them. This blog is about the blessings in my life. Mainly, it's about the people who keep my world spinning on a good axis and help me realize that work, bills and stress mean nothing. Family counts. The rest is just gravy.
This entry was posted in accomplishments, Blog, Children, Daughters, Family, Life, Parent, pet peeve, Raising children, Raising girls, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to For my girls (and a little bit for me), PART 26

  1. Nancy says:

    And this, my dear, is why I love you so much!

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