How many books, articles, blog posts and news segments have you seen or heard talking about winners? Our culture is the proverbial arena in Hunger Games when it comes to being on top. The best. The supreme. The “super” whatever. Better than. Greater than. Higher than. Smarter, stronger, quicker than. We claw, climb, passive aggressively destroy our competition. As young girls, somehow we learn to be prettier, skinnier, funnier and sexier than. Young boys learn to be bigger, stronger, also funnier, but cooler, meaner and bigger than. I come from a family of bests. We learned to win, make A’s in school, be our best, to be the best. We learned the value of confidence from within. We crush our own insecurities by facing them, by honoring ourselves in the face of our greatest fears. We hold our heads high and speak truthfully. We win. But oh how we struggle to be humble. To win alone will not do. We must pulverize and cripple our competition. We gloat.
We are raising daughters now and it is time to teach our children there is a place to win. Inside ourselves, we push to reach our maximum potential. On the field we compete to win, there are 1sts and lasts. There are places where a winner is needed. I believe in grading and winning teams. I believe in crowning the victor. But where has our sportsmanship gone? Where have our humble players gone? And I don’t mean just in our athletes.
As wives and mothers, we should not criticize and destroy and compare ourselves constantly to one another. The journey toward perfection is long and cold and lonely. We should strive for our personal best, and know we can look to others for encouragement. Instead we compete. We compare, we are in the arena, fighting to the death to be all things: better than, smarter than, more-together than. Let’s break free of feeling better than, while we slam those around us. I believe in gold medalists, first place in the science fair, MVP in the series, and world champions. But we are mothers. We are fighting tooth and nail in the midst of war with our babies under our arms, we are defending and poised at the ready to fight the darkness and shadows and harm. We are mothers and we need to step to the same side of that line drawn in the sand to raise Men and Women of character. It starts with us. There are places to be greater than, and stronger than… but not against one another. Let us lay down our weapons fueled by jealousy, insecurity, damaged hearts, and inferiority. To the victor go the spoils, they say. In this case, it’s our babies at stake. They will become who we are.