We live in a society of people who love to compete. Through sports teams, and social status, through job promotions and resume fillers, and even through what we look like and how others feel about us. Wanting to win isn’t a bad thing, though; wanting to win is a good driving force to succeed! Wanting to win is the best way to motivate ourselves to do the hard stuff and to go through hell to get towards the goal. Wanting to win can make us better, faster, smarter, and stronger. However, when was the last time anyone thought about what we are trying to win? Sure, there’s prestige and social status and the reputation, but what is everyone, in some form or another trying to win? My guess, well, every person has a breadwinner in their household, right?
Everybody has someone to rely on who has the goal of bringing in the paycheck so dinner reaches the table in time to be eaten before bed. Sometimes, it’s us, and we are relying on ourselves. For awhile, it’s usually a parent or guardian of ours. For some of us, it might be our significant other, or a close relative or friend. But, no matter who it is, someone is going out each day to make money and be that breadwinner of the household.
Let me ask you, though, do you know anyone who actually wants to win bread?
We want to win love, happiness, and self-esteem. We want to win freedom, and confidence, and some kind of pride in our own selves. We want to win the things that matter, not bread. Instead though, we work towards being able to put food on the table for our families to eat. But, once we put it down on the table, we leave to go win more, while they eat without us, and while we take whatever portion is left over in our pockets to eat alone.
We stick ourselves in the cycle of hoping that we’ll break out through the top; we hope that we’ll save up enough money to provide enough and more so we won’t have to spend all our time going back to the jobs that take everything. But, by the time that happens, we’ve already wasted so much of life. We’ve spent it trying to give enough to satisfy, presuming that satisfaction equates to happiness for the people who get enough. Yet, we forget the stories told to us since childhood, that money can’t buy happiness, and the rich man is just as sad as the poor man.
We forget that they are both sad men for the same reason. The poor man looks at the wealth of the rich man and believes that that is what his life needs to be good, and the rich man gazes at his goods wondering why they still are not enough to make his life a happy one. Money, and houses, and vacations are not what bring happiness and meaning, and neither is bread. The happiest people are the ones who, no matter how little or how much they have, value the ones they love as the treasures that make for a good life, and not the things that surround them in their lives.
If you want to win bread, and if that is what gives your life purpose, then by all means, go ahead. Become a baker even, they roll in dough every day. But, if you want to be happy, and working the job to make money isn’t bringing you meaningful happiness, then settle for a little less bread. Maybe the people around you will spend a little less time eating, but they just might spend a little more time smiling, and they’ll be smiles that you get to share with them.