A while back on Facebook, I came across an interesting video. The video was named “The Race Of Life”. In this video, Camp leaders had several college students line up because they were going to race. The winner would get $100. He said,
“Before I say go, I’m going to make a couple of statements. If those statements apply to you, I want you to take 2 steps forward. If those statements don’t apply to you, I want you to stay right where you’re at.”
He goes on to ask them to take 2 steps forward if:
- Both of your parents are stilled married
- Grew up with a father figure in the home
- Had access to a private education growing up
- Had access to a free tutor growing up
- Never had to worry about your cell phone being shut off
- Never had to help Mom or Dad with the bills
- Not because of your athletic ability, you don’t have to pay for college
- Never wonder where your next meal was going to come from
From there he asks everyone in the front to turn around and look at the people behind them and goes to say,
“Every statement I’ve made has nothing to do with anything you all have done. It has nothing to do with decisions you’ve made, Everything I said has nothing to do with what you’ve done. We all know these people up here have a better opportunity to win this $100. Does that mean these people back here can’t race? No. We would be foolish to realize that we we’re given more opportunities. We don’t want to recognize that we’ve been given a head start but the reality is that we have. Now, they still have to run their race, you still have to run your race but whoever wins this $100, but it would be extrememly foolish of you not to utilize that as an opportunity to learn about someone else’s story. The reality is, if this were a fair race and everyone was back on that line, I guarentee a lot of these Black kids will smoke all of you. It is only because you have this big of a head start, that you’re possibly going to win this race called LIFE.”
Over time, I’ve met some pretty arrogant people in my life. I say this because they portray themselves to be better than others or maybe even that they work harder simply because they’re further ahead than the next person. Often times they tend to look down on what someone chooses to do for a living and/or what kind of vehicle their counterpart may drive. Sometimes they may also claim things like, “I worked hard in college for 4 years”, ignoring all of the other factors of life that they, fortunately, don’t have to worry about, which ultimately contributed to their success thus far.
On the other hand, I’ve met people who will not respect someone if they come from a suburban area and is fortunate enough to have what is known by some as “Daddy’s Money” or a few of the priveledges that were listed above. Yes, it goes both ways. I’ve had a cousin of mine, tell me “I don’t respect Daddy’s Money because they didn’t have to get it from the mud like me.” Meaning, the person who comes from money, doesn’t have to do or work as hard as he’s had too in his life, to get what the person with “Daddy’s Money” gets with less effort.
This video was the perfect reflection for both the participants and viewers of the distinct differences and unique paths that life can take each of us. I am privileged as WE ALL ARE. Now, our levels are definitely different and that’s without a doubt. Some people do have more opportunities presented to them, more of a stable household and specifically financial help. Those are all facts, but we each have a race to run regardless. Making others feel bad for them having too much or not enough is not the way to go. We each have a story to tell and a way of inspiring, encouraging or just HELPING someone else.
Breaking each other down and judging each other’s place in life gets us absolutely nowhere as a society. People may not have come from where you’ve come from and live the upscale lifestyle that you lived. Instead of looking down, laughing under your breath or even thinking you’re better than them, focus on how you may be able to use your resources, what you’ve learned from the people in front of you, connections, etc to help them.
Although this person may come from money and doesn’t have to do the things you will have to do just to get to the same place in life, instead of looking down on them, shaking your head or even thinking they’re weak without actually knowing them as a person. Why not connect with them and speak on a different level, because the negative thoughts will only take you so far.
Most people would be hesitant because they may be afraid of the unknown. Like realizing the truth about who they are as a person. Scared of doing something that makes them uncomfortable. We’re all just humans in a messed up society that has a history of HATE, GREED, and LIES. Because of that, some have more while some have less. Some have more because others didn’t have an equal opportunity. However, moving forward it’s our job for those of us who have more, to be humble and to reach out and do our best every day to help the next person. We each have a special way we’re able to help daily. It’s also our job for those of us who have less, to not get down on ourselves so much because someone else has it easier, from what we can see. That will only slow us down in this race and put negative energy not to mention divide us in this world more than we already are. We are all privileged compared to someone. Whether it is someone in your family, school, job, another country, etc. It just depends on who you’re looking at. We’re not better than each other, we’re all humans who sin and need help in life. You may be the one helping today and needing help tomorrow. Stay humble, thank the people in front of you who have helped you thus far and reach your hand out to help someone else.