Being a ‘proud’ also-ran is a vast wisdom. Ambition will be the death of too many of us.
This statement above is couched both positively and negatively. Both work. If there’s one factor protruding past our contentment in life it’s the variant motive of envy, to ‘have what he or she’s having,’ and more!
[Oh, how I’m seeing myself as the target in this article, and am therefore speaking these words over myself, for there are still vestiges of this curse over my life.]
Hunting for ‘Also-Ran’ Status
It goes against the very grain of the world that we might run after mediocrity. But it’s not really mediocrity that being an also-ran is about.
On the contrary, we’re celebrating the very excellences of our contemporaries; those who, like us, may do their works of good faith so well but, even yet, without the due recognition of reaching the very top tier in their chosen field.
Also-rans are not far off the top of the crop. Indeed, some few are blessed to ‘make it’ in their chosen field despite an even rationale; some might call it luck, however well deserved it really is.
But our core issue is the curse of comparison, of envy and strident, hardly-checked ambition, which is something we all understand and contend with. For, it dogs us quietly but often and it leads us to do all manner of harmful things as far as our relationships are concerned, not to mention the anxious self-concern and damaging self-worry we ourselves invest in whenever we don’t live up to our own over-weighted expectations.
And at times we’ll wonder why people are hurt; we certainly will see others’ envious ambition transgressing us. It never feels good on either side of the equation.
Putting Also-Ran Status into Action - as a Goal
Structured in the very character trait of humility, then, we make it our goal to be an also-ran—to fly high with the crowd, bringing the crowd along with us, in praise of their amenities, abilities and achievements.
This, as a habit, is contending for us in ways we couldn’t manufacture even if we tried.
We’re buffeted healthily by the winds of growth-change as we jettison this cargo of envy with the energy of humility, casting it out of the Hercules cargo plane of the psyche with rash abandon.
Willingly taking the path of the also-ran is a great and vast wisdom for it is stayed in the moment and it’s at once content. Nothing can touch it.
If there’s one thing we do to be truly spiritually happy it’s this.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.