‘Life is valuable to me, like life is a race…’
The term life to me has many meanings, but one thing that becomes apparent every time I think about the matter is that life has too much value and that we have to live life as best as we can so as to rip the best things it has to offer us before we run out of time. Life is fast, and unless one values it and lives as if it were valuable, there is a big chance that one can lose out. This paper, therefore, is my story of how I perceive life. Life to me is like a race; a fast race that you either win or lose. To me life has a lot of value and this value has to be utilized to the minimum. The story below will show how I discovered that life is valuable, and how I became to perceive life like a race.
In my younger days, before I developed into the person I am today, I was a troublesome child; hardheaded and set on my ways without the hope of ever listening or considering the views of others. Before all changed, I attended and became a constant member of one of the most common schools on earth; a school that everyone has attended at least once in their lifetime. This school takes in everyone no matter what state, stage or position in life they are in; these things do not matter to this school, and I am sure everyone has gone to the school once. The school am talking about here is the extremely common school in life called the School of Hard Knocks. Up to date I have not come across a more effective, memorable and efficient school in life.
Since I was hard headed, stubborn and set on my ways in more than one way, it is only fair to admit that I got quite a share of this School of Hard Knocks education. I remember listening to a youth counselor in one of the many youth camps I attended. He was talking about how the fastest runner in a race does not always have to reach the finish line before the other runners who might even have started the race at a lesser speed. This seemed like something that had been taken out of the bible as I had attended some bible classes in my days and I was sure there was a verse a verse in the bible that had the same ideology of life.
Little did I know that I would later live the exact experience the youth counselor at summer camp was explaining? At the same camp, we constantly held summer competitions that involved various games such as racing, football, and other kinds of sports. One of the competitions that were being held at that time was a racing competition. I was considered an extremely excellent runner in most of the camps that I had attended, and I was sure that, in this particular camp, I was by far the fastest runner. I was sure would outrun everyone else in this particular race.
The race soon began and as I had thought I was outrunning everyone else and I was way ahead of them in a few seconds, but there was a problem. In the previous three months, I had dislocated my foot ankle, and though it had healed well, I started feeling some discomfort in my bad ankle. The doctor had warned that I should not strain the leg for a number of months, but I assumed that the leg had healed in the three months I had been idle. However, this was not the case, the discomfort increased, and I could not walk or run properly. I started to limp badly, and in no time, the other racers had outrun me and they were way ahead of me. However, I was glad that it was not that serious as no one stopped to see what was going on.
I was able to complete the competition, only, I finished it last. I had anticipated that I would finish first and take home the crown. Someone else, however, won and got to take the coveted price home. I was so sad that someone had taken away something I had wanted so bad, and by the fact that I would not enjoy to watch my parents as they beamed with pride when I showed them the trophy. However, I was glad that my little brother had won more than 10 trophies in math contests. I saw it as a way life evened out my defeat. I am extremely proud and happy to have such a talented brother, and I was glad that his trophies were around to hide the fact that I had not brought home any trophies.
I learned a number of lessons from this experience. For example, I learned that an individual’s talents, abilities and capabilities only count for a small percentage of the successes such an individual achieves later in life. Another lesson I learned is that life can be understood or taken as a race. A race, therefore, can be a good example of how life is. Take, for example, the fact that in a race there are no guaranteed wins. Life is just the same. One can be sure that they have all abilities and resources to achieve certain goals, but at the end, they can fail to achieve the same goals just like a racer can fail to win. It was clear from my experience that there are no guarantees that an individual will always emerge at the top even if they have the capacity to achieve this. It was during this juncture that I remembered my counselor’s words about the fastest winner not always obtaining the trophy, and I realized that his words were true.
There, I was the fastest runner in the camp expecting to emerge the winner; something that was disapproved at the end. Back to life, we can make the same conclusions as in a race. The wise sometimes go without food, and the skillful, in life, are not always the ones driving the biggest cars. Additionally, the most educated people are not always the richest, or the successful individuals in life. It would be fair to conclude that the outcomes of life, just like those of a race are influenced by several variables, and not just by abilities or skills. For example, ones success can be determined by chance, by one being at the right place and being at there at the right time. These variables that determine success not only apply to track racers but also to the skillful, the educated, the wise, strong and the wealthy.
This, however, does not mean that being wealthy, skillful, educated, wise, strong, or having special abilities is wrong. It is quite clear from some examples that good education, or the appropriate skills can contribute to one leading a successful life. Take Bill Gates, for example, his skills, education, wisdom and hard work have made him one of the most successful and wealthiest men worldwide. However, it is essential to realize that, especially after the example with my experience, that there are no guarantees that something is going to go the way one sees it. This means that one’s success is mainly determined by other forces and not just his attributes.
I changed a lot after some of the experiences I got from the school of hard knocks. I spend less time being stubborn and rude, and, as a result, I spend less time in this hardship school.
I realized that some situations can go either way; I could win in some cases or at other times, I could lose. After learning this, I became more comfortable with life, and I realized that I did not always have to win for me to be happy and content. I learned that I should take and value each situation the same; both winning and losing. I later learned that I should never take my winning or losing at face value and that I should consider the overall worth of each situation. For example, if I lost it did not mean all was lost. I could have lost and let someone else win who needed the win much more than I did.
With the exception of some of these bad experiences I had at the school of hard knocks, I had a wonderful time at most of these camps, and I sometimes think that my loosing at that particular race was essential and extremely beneficial for my life. The reason I say this is that, without these experiences, I would not have learned the valuable lessons I learned after I lost that race. Later I discovered that some of the finest teachings are those that we win and never receive a trophy. The experiences life teaches us are prices worth more than other prizes received as trophies. This is because it is not only kind of trophy that helps us learn through valuable lessons and help us mature and grow up into adults who are productive.
As it was indicated in the above story, a race can be exemplified to life. The reason I conclude this way is because in most cases the two have the same goals, and one of them is to emerge successful at the end of hard work. Races can be used as metaphors for life because they impose on individuals the same lessons life imposes on them. For example, one can learn from races and life that winning or becoming successful is not a guarantee, and that at times people lose and other times they win. It was learned from the above story that people should value the outcomes of their just the same.
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