if at first you don’t succeed etc etc

‘If we can build planes that go slightly faster (even if they cause more pollution and more noise), then we ought to have them – even if no one really needs them! We say, “It’s absolutely essential,” which often means, “We want to have it, and we won’t wait, even if social evils are the result.”. Or we insist that we must remain competitive in the world market. But may not competition itself be evil?’
Hans Rookmaaker

What time is it?

It’s 8.30am on a Monday morning and I’ve already spent an hour and half trying to outwit people. I’ve been trying to be more creative, original,appealing, attractive, winsome, offering a different angle to others that might get me a competitive advantage, something that will make someone pick my thing over somebody else’s thing. It like there are limited places, resources, things, money, capital etc and lots of other people are after those same things. To get those limited places you’ve got to use your guile, endurance.

Does it matter that I’m pretty useless at getting ahead?
The intent is there. I’m trying to out gun people. That I’m not successful at it doesn’t mean that I should stop, just that I need to raise my game, or modify my game, or try a different tact,or ‘have you tried this?’ Or at least the narrative that I’ve absorbed from a very early age seems to say that. As my primary school teacher used to tell me:-

‘If at first you don’t succeed
Try, try again.’

It’s like being a Northern Hemisphere rugby team. You’re clearly not as good as the Southern Hemisphere teams so you need to review things, see where improvements can be made, raise your game and compete harder.

Competition and striving just seems to be the way the world works. Or at least that is the over riding impression I get about how the world really works.
There isn’t much room for grace in this system of doing life that seems to be the ultimate reality, the way things are once the week starts.

The kids across the way are getting left to school. Was there a fight to get them into a particular school they wanted to get into?Are places limited?
My memory from school is being taught to be compete for places in university, to get the highest mark possible. Not that it was put like that of course. But at the end of the day everything was set up for exams and being assessed. And the aim of that was so that you could get as good a mark as you could.

There is a family I know who need somewhere to live. They can’t find one because they are being outcompeted in the competition to find housing here in Galway. It is through no fault of their own either.

I know other people who are being outcompeted in their attempts to find work. There was an article on the BBC website the other day about 2.7million people in India applying for some job/s. It something like ‘if you thought it was bad going up against 12 people for a job…’.
How is it that we’ve come to accept that it’s normal that people should have to fight each other for a limited number of jobs just so they can feed themselves?

People in work today will be trying to outgrow their rivals, to increase sales and profit margins, to do a better job than someone who is doing a good job. They will have to sell X or Y or else get left behind.

How have we come to live like some type of arms race with people pushing each other against each other? Perhaps it lifts standards and increases efficiency. But perhaps it kills the soul of a men?

Walking up Galway City Centre on Saturday afternoon I saw 3 table stalls all beside each other and vying for the attention of the people passing by.
There was a Christian outreach man, Islam outreach men and something about not putting salmon farms in Galway bay.
The list could go on and on and on. Voices competing and usually trying to over power someone either through naked shows of strength or by being winsome.
I suppose that it’s more in line with Satan’s way of doing things by trying the subtle, gentle, seductive, sly than the all out attack. I think that one of Satan’s greatest lies is that competition is the way life really works.


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