RACE RELATIONS IN A COMPETITIVE WORLD

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Consider the quotation, “The race is not to the swift.”  There can be so many connotations to this expression.  Literal races between competitors give credence to the degree of respect opposing parties have for each other when handled amicably.  However, the significance runs much deeper.  It is important to consider underlying factors such as how opponents respect and deal with differences beyond competitive qualities.

Competition is healthy.  Some think it’s the spice of life.  The means to an end.  That thing that keeps us excited and motivated and happy.  The list could go on and on.  The driving force; however, is the fact that with competition comes winners and losers.  It is not as consoling, especially to the loser, when one is told that “somebody’s got to win; somebody’s got to lose.”  It is more comforting when competitive forces unite to bring positive results to all.  A good starting point is when solid attention and serious and honest desires to create genuine and lasting human relationships surpass petty and fruitless tendencies which permeate objective views.  Only then can a simple competitive activity move forward with its true meaning; void of misguided idiosyncrasies or unrealistic and prejudicial beliefs.

When individual mindsets recognize the significance of looking through colored lenses instead of a black or white lens, an appreciation for any hue is recognized. Sensitivities to differences far surpass any unrealistic and misguided opinion.  When rational thinking equalizes irrational thinking, the judgments, opinions, and sentiments prevail and; therefore, encourage respect for uniqueness.

Acceptance of differences in individuals should be such an easy thing to do, yet a “lack thereof” sometimes rules the day.  It is when like-minded persons see the beauty in a rainbow.  Gray areas will always exist; just as clouds on a rainy day.  But it is far more appealing and inviting when a dash of color permeates the sky.

When biases interrupt logical thinking, society is dealt circumstances where children are sometimes mistreated because of living conditions, their race, education, etc.  Promotions on the job are sometimes not given because of one’s skin color or even gender discrimination.  Too many predispositions ruin solidarity of mind and spirit.

Stereotypical thinking exists for numerous reasons.  Hatred and malicious attitudes about race differences exist.  Racial, cultural and religious misjudgments manifest themselves deliberately and often.  What a wonderful world it would be if prejudicial teachings did not exist.  Remember the innocence of childhood – babies born of all colors and shapes and sizes – without a thread of negative, irrational and biased thinking.  A baby sees the beauty in a smile, the love in a hug, and the warmth in a touch.  There exists only a motivation for the simple and lasting things; nonetheless, if taught otherwise, this innocence fades.  One is left to ponder how preconceived inclinations are formed from an unintelligible thinking mind.

Swiftness.  Competitiveness.  Acceptance.  These are included in the recipe for positive and fulfilling relationships; regardless of race or creed.  Let’s start today looking inwardly, by examining ourselves and asking “if individually we can help to promote healthy interactions with all; paying tribute to and embracing our differences.”  It is only then that we can truly say, “The race is not to the swift.”  Reference Ecclesiastes 9:11 (KJV) as follows:  I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.  In this verse, we are reminded that it takes more than power and might to make it in life; it takes belief that God can erase hurt and harm to those who live by his word; thus, rendering the rejection of individual differences as irrelevant.  True competitive relationships are then born where the driving force is not defined by diversities in people but the quality of the game itself – the game of life!

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