“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility lies with being superior to your former self.” - Ernest Hemingway
Grow. Expand. Be better.
To be in constant competition with someone else, or something else, is to have an empty destiny. Ambition is a quality relegated to humans and humans alone. It’s a fascinating concept that I assume stems from trying to get to the top of the food chain but if left unsupervised, can spiral into self-destruction. To seek a path of superiority is to leave destruction in one’s wake. One cannot exist without the other. This is the saddest element of living in a competition based society- someone, or a group of someones, always loses. Men have traded the bragging of sexual exploits like currency since the dawn of time, but that time is withering away. Do mistakes happen? Yes. And we have to learn from them. Learning to thrive in that type of environment will only proliferate the issue. No one will change and we will continue to live in a dominant based world where the goal is not to better ourselves and our surroundings but to diminish and reduce the hearts and minds of others to nothing. We cannot grow and become better as a society if the efforts of the strong are wasted on controlling the weak. In contrast, they must empower them.
We have become a society based on self-promotion, on sticking out our chests and boasting. Americans by nature have always been loud, we tout our accomplishments and we make sure the world hears us roar. However, that does not mean we know how to lead, we only know how to be first. We have the military might of the next 27 countries combined and that is not for protection, that is for economic and political power. What is sad in all of this is that education, charity, and building infrastructure will actually allow us to be more powerful on a world stage and more trust worthy than with more fire power.
Consider this: During The Cold War when the CIA assisted Osama Bin Laden in defeating the Soviets in a guerrilla-style war in the mountains of Afghanistan, America was left with a choice. What do we do next? They could pack up and walk away, patting themselves on the back for achieving victory or invest in the country, become allies, friends. Yes we helped them win, yes we could rightfully claim victory, but leaving a country that we strategically manipulated in shambles was no better than leaving it in the hands of the Soviets. We did not fulfill our obligation to spread democracy, education and human rights. We should have been better than say, Vietnam our former self, instead we repeated our mistakes and created so much resentment and hatred that it was rife for the zealots.
Without anyone to conquer, one is left alone with a mirror, and justification and judgement await.