Monday, November 23, 2009

A Little Ditty about Competition

Another ditty brought to you by the Nowell Three:

"First is the worst
Second is the best
Third is the one in the Barbie dress*."

This is a truly interesting philosophy. The more I think about it, the more I realize this is really the mantra of the overachieving underachiever.

This is for the person who claims not to mind being the Vice President, salutatorian, and the second-in-line bridesmaid who wasn't crowned Matron/Maid of Honor and has to walk with the dorky little brother of the groom. People who still THINK of themselves as being numero uno and are, sadly, always disappointed they just missed being first, instead of celebrating second.

It's for all the people who were within 1/1000th of a second of being first in the swim meet, track competition, or beer drinking contest. Especially the drinking contest.

These are the types who complain bitterly against the person who worked their butt off to get into first place.

This describes so many people today. People who are willing to put in a little work but, heaven forbid, really sweat and toil toward their goal.

I'm afraid this is what America has become: a nation of second-place citizens with a first-place wannabe mentality. People who won't give credit when people reach the peak of their success, preferring, instead, to tear them down with vitriolic hate mongering and insulting platitudes about how everyone who makes it to first was handed everything on a silver platter.

I intend to correct my children's philosophy. I don't believe I was put on this Earth to raise children who will scratch and tear at the competition to get to the top. I also don't believe my children should believe there is anything wrong with being first, as long as they approach the position with humility and gratitude to God for giving them the ability. And, if they take second? They should be just as grateful for the opportunity and figure out what they want the next outcome to be. Then WORK for it.

The minute they lose those qualities, they have a Momma, hand cocked and at the ready, to remind them that they aren't too old to remember the lessons of their youth. And if a hand upside the bottom doesn't work? I can execute a mind-bending wedgie.

Here's what I learned growing up:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

That means humility in victory and a congratulatory spirit in defeat. It means taking the number one podium with just as much pride as the guy on number two but with the understanding that the guy one step down could have just as easily been where you are standing.

It's what America needs to remember so we start steering our own ship again. We need to recall that we are the number one democracy in this world and not be ashamed, preferring to offer our help to others who want to replicate what we have. It's pride in who we are as citizens of this great country while remembering that we shoulder a huge burden of helping those less fortunate, no matter how "unfortunate" we are. It's building up the victor and working a little more the next time, so we can be number one instead of griping about how "unfair" it is to be in second place.

We can start by cheering on Brazil as it hosts the 2016 Olympics. Chicago should be proud they were the number one city picked in this country to potentially host. And L.A. should take pride in being second.

Think about it. Cause if you don't? I'm crowning you third place.

And, if you've seen the trash Barbie is wearing lately, you're going to look ridiculous.

*Or, as The Babe mistakenly chimed in, "Third is the one with the Barbie chest." Yes, he's four. Good Lord, please help us all.


  1. I know a parents who's first child is very publicly known as a little girl who will grow up to become a "world changer". The second child, the parents say, will just be "normal" know who!

  2. I can't wait for little Miss Normal to kick Miss World Changers ass. I'd pay good money to see that.