Posts Tagged 'current-events'

Who is Number One?


Today kicks off the greatest annual sporting event in all of sports. The genius of the NCAA basketball tournament is a marvel. To many fans it’s a bunch of interesting games, but it’s so much more. It’s like a religion to the die-hards. You can’t ‘invent’ something this good. It has taken on a life of its own, organically. There are so many fascinating facets to it, most of which are well documented, that I couldn’t possibly touch on them all. One of the most notable of them, and the most relevant to this post, is how the audience has become part of the event. The stats showing the decline of office productivity to pools and brackets speak for themselves. It has truly carved out a place in our culture that transcends the sport itself.

Our species is inherently competitive, and our culture both banks on and fosters this. We want to know who is best, or who can find a way to win. Often times this degrades to winner take all and not caring about the rest. Who won the job, or the scholarship, or the lottery, their 15 minutes of fame, or…?  But who was it Kentucky beat last year? Likewise nobody cares who came in second in the office pool. Still, the fact that we get to participate the way we do generates a lot of interest and buy-in from people who otherwise wouldn’t give it a second thought. When you get closer and more engaged in something you see a lot more of the nuances. It’s kinda’ like a religion.

The quest for who is truly the best at something, though seemingly important to us, is awfully hard objectively determine. But as for who is number one? That’s easy. Each of us is number one to ourselves (and closest to ourselves). Everything you do and say springs out of that. You can disguise it 100 different ways, and be as altruistic as they come, but in the end it still boils down to the same thing. You have a hierarchy of perceived wants and needs that you strive to take care of. Consider this quote from a friend…

Being true to my faith in God makes me happy.

It’s a very insightful and honest statement for this individual, and one I think would be shared by many who have a capacity to look within. Even though the actions required to be true to said faith may not always be ideal (or at least not easy), if someone has figured out that staying the course and following a doctrine works and produces happiness…then that’s a great way to look out for number one. This person would say and believe that God is number one, and put God ahead of themselves. But the ultimate and unavoidable truth contained in that quote is profound.

I wonder if God approves of gambling in office pools?

Hopeless Generation

Sit back and try to absorb the news objectively sometime. Pretend you don’t know how sensationalized and crafted it is. Try to look at it through the wonder and insecurity of a teenager. Pay attention to things relating to jobs and careers. Look at the consumer confidence index. Listen to some of the political rhetoric. If you were a kid how would you feel about your chances of graduating and getting a high paying job?

The state of affairs does more than just the immediate and obvious damage. We’re raising a generation of people who in many cases believe it’s hopeless. That it doesn’t matter much what they do. There aren’t going to be good lives to be had by them. So why try? It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy.


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