In the Hindi movie '3 Idiots', Boman Irani's character, the Principal Viru Sahastrabudhhe, nicknamed ViruS, gives an introductory speech to all the students on Day-1.
ViruS asks the new batch's Engineering-students-
"Who was the 1st person to set foot on the Moon?"
"Who was the 1st person to set foot on the Moon?"
Many hands are up as many students know the answer!
But, when ViruS asks, "Who was the 2nd person on the Moon?" there are no takers.
(Even the ‘good students’- Rancho & Chatur don’t have the answer!)
Being a good Quizzer, I know the answer- Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin.
So what? The answer can just earn me an extra point in a Quiz-Contest!
The truth is, it is Neil Armstrong who is remembered as the ‘first person on the moon’.
It is Neil Armstrong, who is more famous.
How many of us know or even care who was 2nd either on the Moon or in life?
When the school-results are announced, parents usually ask their kids, “Who stood 1st?”
(I don’t ask my kid this question as I don’t care!)
When the results of the Miss India contest are announced, all eyes are on the 1st winner, though all the pretty young ladies on stage are equally talented & even though the difference in the final score between the top two winners may be 0.002!
“The winner takes it all”. Name & Fame belongs to the Winner.
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (The one who wins is Alexander)
That’s the obsession with the “FIRST/1st” position.
We all want to WIN. We all want to feel important. We all want to feel loved and wanted.
The truth is the human-mind always wants to pick the best option for itself- the one that maximizes gains/returns.
We have a Talaash (Search) for the best! Landing up in a lower spot does not accord that much status/importance.
The 1st position is very important in a race. If it’s the Olympic Games, then coming 2nd or 3rd will also do as it raises the stature of our country. But, 4th position (like Milkha Singh & PT Usha in the Olympics) is an absolute no-no. It leaves a lifetime of regret and could-have-been feeling.
But, people like Milkha Singh share their life's story so that we people can learn from their experience.
I shared my learning in my Post – BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG - 25 LESSONS.
The Society remembers us on the basis of what we have achieved; not what we could have or had the potential to achieve to get an edge.
But, while a part of the Society raises us to a pedestal, another part pulls us down if our achievement exceeds their expectations or knowledge!
Sadly some people belittle others talent/hard-work & drive a wedge!
I stood first in the very first race I ran in my life, way back in KG in Jamnabai Narsee School, Mumbai!
I still remember that race as I had the finish-line in mind and ran as fast as my tiny feet could carry me!
I was pretty plump, but still stood 1st!
I remember the pride on my parents’ face as I stood on the Winner’s stand!
When I was handed over my trophy, I felt really happy and grand!
Some people mocked at my achievement as such a plump kid had won the race! Others, who were not present at the venue, generalized- “Just imagine how plump the other kids of her class must be that this plump kid won!”
Strangely, even after all these years, they (close relatives) still remember my first achievement and disparagingly say this!
What right do people have to do so & pass unfair comments?
They are not God who can pass such judgments!
They didn’t run; I ran the race with all my mind & heart!
The least they can do is Congratulate & acknowledge my worth!
But, it does not matter what people unfortunately say…
They cannot steal my achievement or glory away!
My 1st Win’s photograph still graces our Photo-Album and I still feel thrilled to see it as if I have just won the race!
Some years later, I took part in a Spoon-race for the very first time in my life. We had to put the edge of the spoon inside our mouth and had to balance a lemon on the spoon. Whoever managed to finish the race first without dropping the lemon even once would win. I just focused on the lemon & my spoon & slowly and steadily made my way…
I did not lose my faith, balance or composure even when my ‘competitors’ around were dropping their lemons/spoons! They got disqualified, while to complete the race, I earnestly tried!
Needless to say, I deservedly earned the 1st prize in the Spoon-race!
Later, in the Mahabharata, I read Arjuna & Ekalavya stories.
They had eyes only on the ‘target’; nothing else did they notice…
Heroes continue to inspire across seas, even after centuries...
I generously quote the examples of such mythological and real-life heroes (and heroines) to my kid. We must learn the best from all and grow.
If we all sincerely set our eyes on our goals and diligently work hard to achieve them, no one can stop our and our country’s progress.
But, it’s unfortunate that some of us are busy creating impediments in other’s (competitors) work/progress, rather than focusing and bettering our own individual work!
I believe the best competition is with oneself. I wholeheartedly indulge in it as I love challenging myself and spur myself to greater heights and achievements!
No, I’m not planning to be the 1st woman on the moon! But, setting targets and achieving them is no less wonderful than reaching for the stars and the moon!
And I am definitely not the 1st person in the World who feels so!
What do you feel; what is your view?
How important is ‘coming 1st’ to you?