Nice Guys and The Race They’re In

They call this a race. Maybe some people call this a rat race. Maybe others call this the human race but of course, there are people around who say, “Nice guys finish last,” which I suppose maybe this might be true. Or maybe this is because nice guys aren’t trying to win. But who knows?

Maybe nobody knows the answer, which is why we look to act as if we know. We try to act as if we have the answer but me, I know I don’t have the answers. I don’t know too much about a race. As a matter of fact, if this is a race; I’m not even sure what we are racing towards. Last I checked; most races run in specific directions. There is a start and a finish. And to me, I’m not sure that I’m in a rush to finish or face the finality of “The End.”

Maybe this is why nice guys finish last. Maybe they want to enjoy the view more than beating their so-called competition. Maybe they want to enjoy the turnout of the crowd and see the smiles on friendly faces. Maybe the so-called nice guy is living a life beyond the ideas of “He who dies with the most toys wins!” And please—for the moment, I ask that you forgo the assignments of gender. I am cautious with this topic because of public sensitivity; however, these are old sayings and since the old sayings are still common I think I’ll just move with the commonality and say — it’s true.

We live in a “Me first” world. Perhaps not everyone lives this way but there is a majority of “Me first” people in the world. I see this on a daily basis. I see this in traffic when people cut each other off. I see this on the subways. I see this in the political debates between people who yell and scream; as if their shouting and screaming is going to change the opinion of an opposing side.

And again, if this is the race, then perhaps my goal in this race is to simply keep it together. My goal is to keep my sanity instead of fight or argue. Hell, it’s enough for me to get up in the morning and face the day. I work hard. I work a lot of hours. In fact, I work more than one job. I work at a job that pays my bills and on the other job; I work here to pay my heart. I work here to pay my sanity and pave my way towards a new life. Besides, I am older now. Perhaps the space between me and the finality of a so-called finish line is growing too close for my comfort. So to this I say; to hell with the race.  I’m not looking to finish. I’m looking to start. I’m looking to accomplish. I want to create an open sea and find my way outwards, literally into an ocean of opportunity, and when I’m out there, I’ll still want to see more. But not with greed or pride. Instead, I want this with the heart of a child; to play, to laugh, to learn and to love every minute of my natural born life.

I want to feel the sun on my face and the wind in my hair. I want to explore and see things. I want to meet people. I want to live more now than ever before—and to be honest, I can’t see this happening in a race.
So, fuck the finish line.
(That’s right. I said fuck,)

It took me too long to launch; and the reason for this is because I was too caught up in the mindset of this so-called race that people keep talking about. I was caught by the distractions of inaccurate competition, which is only something that stems from an inner deficiency. I was caught up in the right or wrong ideas of life and of my manhood. I was lost in the controversy of how I am and who I am supposed to be. But there is no controversy. There’s only me.
I don’t want to race but above all; I don’t want to sit with my distractions, or be afraid to launch my ideas because somehow, I am caught by the hinges of pass or fail.

There is something called a failure to thrive. This occurs in children when their weight or their rate of weight gain and size is less than others. I know this can be attributed to the amount of calories. Maybe (like me), the child eats too little and this is why the child fails to gain weight. Maybe there are health problems. Maybe this is much deeper and there are metabolic disorders but either way; the idea and the words “failure to thrive” is interesting to me.

Failure to thrive . . .
Think about this.

Thrive; as in to prosper; as in to be successful—to flourish, to achieve and to grow or develop. And the failure of this, the idea of shrinking or shriveling down, not growing, not moving, not doing anything and to have surrendered to this or submitted is my worst fear.
To fail to thrive is my fear; to miss out; to give in and allow the world to pass me by; to not see another concert, to miss out on the feeling of being by the ocean or stand on the bow of a boat with the wind in my hair—I can’t have this. And if anything, if I am racing towards anything; I am racing towards the need to start my life.

I don’t want to cross a finish line and be like, “Alright, that’s it. Thanks for coming out folks,” and then the lights go out. I want the feeling of victory of showing up. I want to cross the starting line, not the finish line. I want to breathe. I want to feel the exhilaration of the ground moving beneath my feet. At the end of the day when the sun comes to its lowest point, I want to be there to enjoy the sunset and look forward to being awake for another sunrise. So go ahead with your races. I’m not looking to win or beat anybody. I’ve spent an entire lifetime just trying to keep up with the Jones’s. I’ve been trying to beat people, but for what?
Where has this gotten me? Where has this taken me?

There’s someplace that I’d rather be. I want to go. I want to live. But more, I just want to thrive. Above all; yes, I want to thrive. I want to see and feel and touch the cloth of the world; and with all I have and all I can muster. I say this because the more I think about my life; the more I realize Socrates was right.
“Enjoy! It’s later than you think,”
This is perhaps the best advice around.

Maybe that’s my race. I’m on a race to enjoy my life.
Only, I don’t need to be first to win.
I just don’t want to be last or learn too late.

So here it is. The sun is up, which means only one thing.
This means it’s time. So on your mark, get set . . .


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