Right from school, when one singer bitched slyly against another better one, I have observed the vagaries of competition rather dispassionately- usually the reactions left demeaning inner footprints within one’s own spirit’s pathway.
Very often, when life has pitched me against far better competitors and envy raised her serpentine green head to strike, I had remembered the singer and the vicious look on her 13 year old face , turning the pretty eyes ugly for a moment ; and had soothed the coiling snake within my own self down to her hole, with one charming song: ” This person’s gift has to be acknowledged. Her/ His gift does not mean that mine is less in anyway.” And believe me, it has worked most times. Yes, on some occasions, it still reared its head, and the snake charmer’s song had to be played multiple times and then I had to create something new to feel better😃. What was it about envy and her sting?!
Although I am a very competitive person, and does not like losing anywhere, life has been teaching me different snake charms.
Acknowledge, appreciate, and grow…
So when my elder child , clearly carrying the same competitive DNA, frowned on someone pipping her for a dream admission, I told her the same.
“When you received the first call letter, did you rejoice?”
” Yes, Amma.”
” How many must have got a rejection letter- did you think about them then?”
A moment’s poignant silence.
” No. I was busy cheering .”
” Then how come, when you are not admitted, you feel it was not fair? What is the problem in acknowledging that those who got in, were better than you, more deserving? ”
Another moment of silence.
” If the students who were rejected,when you were selected , had questioned your capability, how would you feel?”
” Bad. As if it was a typical loser’s reaction.”
” So, why not choose to be a winner now? Appreciate those who made it ?”
Suddenly she smiles. Her beautiful eyes sparkle. It is an aha moment! The pie of her success has not been eaten into by another’s success. That remains for her to enjoy: with more hard work, dreams, spirit and grace.
” So you never felt bad when you lost, eh Amma?”
I grin to myself. If I counted my losses, my girl, I will fill many diaries. But I usually count my winnings. Those too fill many happy hours.
” Mmm….for every jolt, I sort of say thank you to the ones I have already won..like, having you for my daughter. I am so proud of you.”
A very meaningful cough rises from my left side. The nine year old is particularly a sore loser. She will, in her sister’s words, climb a tree, and breathe life into a lion’s skeletal system to make it pounce on the competitors to eliminate unnecessary work.
” I am proud of you too,” I grin.She looks totally unconvinced. Her sister laughs out openly.
” Amma, imagine teaching her to handle rejection slips when she is trying for University…”
” Who said I will get rejected?”
Ahhh….much work to be done here, I think to myself.