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     Volume 8 Issue 53 | January 16, 2009 |


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Musings

What's Wrong With Being
Number Two?


Tulip Chowdhury

If everyone stands first in the race who would get the medal for the runners up or who would take the second place? If all commodities were of first rate how can we have the choices for things that come at cheaper rates? The food for thought is why should we all clamor to be ahead of everything and everyone? What is wrong with being second once in a while, what is wrong with being number two?

There is my friend Jenny who wants to write for the paper with the highest circulation. However the authority of the paper just did not publish anything she wrote and she is suffering from frustration.

I suggested that she write for other papers and asked her what was wrong with being second best.

Jenny started sending her write-ups to other newspapers and got spontaneous responses. She became a prolific writer over night as her writing began to appear in newspapers almost regularly. Instead of losing her self-confidence Jenny became a forceful writer as she gained the trust of the people who were publishing her writing.

Life does not guarantee handing down everything in a golden platter and nor does it


When life cannot deliver us with the best of choices, we should not be driven off our set ways.

promise to give you the first choice in everything, Life holds out choices and often we have to settle down on things that can be less appealing to us. It takes some courage to settle down for the lesser things. It takes guts to make the adjustments. But still we can, at times settle for the lesser good and be content. If we are forever striving to get the best of everything we can end up miserable, fidgety and tired. If you want to be constantly ahead of the rat race for social success, jobs and positions, who is going to be the second one?

The words of wisdom for the middle way or the second place in Bangla says,

“ oti boro hoyona jhore pore jabe
oti choto hoyona chagole mure khabe…”

The saying advises not to try to be too ambitious for that may call in chaos and not be too humble either for that may diminish one's image. The world at this time is very competitive and people are forever vying for jobs and positions. It seems as if all are trying to climb to the top of the ladder. In the process people get stressed out and often lose the peace of their soul. Being the number two in some places of life is not the end of the world. We can let others go ahead without being jealous or feeling that life is unfair.

Life comes to us with two sides of its coin. There are times when life comes with blessings and times when life seems to be unjust. When life cannot deliver us with the best of choices, we should not be driven off our set ways. We can gracefully accept the second best and still hold out a bouquet to life. Slowing down in life often gives us time to reflect on our aesthetic senses. Our hectic lifestyles leave us too busy to see the stars that twinkle in the sky. At times we forget to acknowledge the advent of spring with its majestic colours. Beautiful moments in life sail by while we are too busy catching up with our ambitions. And if for once we are in the second boat we may still be happy to anchor on the harbour of success, a harbour that holds inner peace and beauty of mind. Happy sailing on the second boat!

 

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