Tuesday, May 19, 2015

What's Wrong with Being #2 (or lower)?

I really dislike ranking people in most respects, for lots of reasons.  Primary among those reasons is that in order for there to be a #1 there simply must be a #2 - and every number lower.  

Second, many times the true #1 in a field is an absolute SOB and incredibly egomaniacal. For example, I once worked with a woman who had first-hand knowledge of Michael Jordan's view of beautiful women - and, to put it mildly, it was disgusting. Seriously, it was simply appalling.  Being #1 (or, more accurately, striving to be seen as #1) can be a very damaging mindset. 

On a more personal note, this question is near to my heart, since I have twin sisters, one year younger than I, who struggled in school to get their B's and C's - and an occasional A. They were average students who worked hard to succeed, but they had more than one teacher who accused them of being lazy - since the other six kids in the family all had A's with only an occasional B. In academic terms, they were #'s 7 & 8 out of 8 in my family - and there was absolutely nothing wrong with that. Nothing. It wasn't their actual rank that mattered; it was their accomplishments relative to their ability.

By that measure, they probably were ahead of me (since they worked a whole lot harder than I usually did) - but I was the one who was seen as #1 by everyone who ranked us, consciously or subconsciously.

It isn't right, and it's a natural tendency against which we ought to fight.

No comments: