I’ve picked this question from one of my networks on LinkedIn because I find it more personal to me. This is my AskJaycee # 2.
“Sir Jaycee, what can you say about the people who say that life is a marathon and not a race? I feel that you’re an on-the-go person based on your convictions every time you post. Am I right to assume that you believe that life is a race and not a marathon?”
Hi! You would be a good psychologist. You know how to read a person based on his choice of words.
The short answer to your question is a YES.
But let me give you the supporting details.
You asked me to say something about the people who preach that life is a marathon and not a race.
What I’m going to say is not so much about the people who preach that but on the saying itself.
They’re only the messengers. I’ll attack the message instead.
Life is a marathon, not a race.
Life is a race, not a marathon.
None of these two statements is the universal truth on how one should treat and see life. The acceptability of any of these two statements is unique per person.
It depends on the type of situation where you started and spent the early days of your career or life in general.
I lived a hand-to-mouth life until the age of 25. I’m in my early 30s now.
You will never understand why I see life as a race and not as a marathon until you experience how you can’t buy 1 kilo of rice until your fishballs are not sold out. Mind you, that 1 kilo of rice is not just for one meal but for the 3 meals of a family with 5 members.
You will never understand why I see life as a race and not as a marathon until you experience how it feels to knock on the door of your high school teacher just to borrow fare money so you could go to the school and take the exams. Modesty aside, I dreaded more the thought of not being able to go to school on the day of the exams than the exams.
You will never understand why I see life as a race and not as a marathon until you and your wife experience buying 1 kilo of raw mango as your dish for 1 week. Eh ilang piraso lang yun. Kailangan mo pang paabutin ng 1 week. Otherwise, yung kanin mo siya na ring ulam mo.
Others complain for having porridge (lugaw) as their daily meal. You’re still lucky on that level, I’d say. There were many instances when the M.Y. San can of biscuit where we put the uncooked rice was empty. Those were the days when porridge was already a miracle. Kinakaawan ninyo sarili ninyo dahil nakaranas kayo ng lugaw lang ang kinain ninyo noong bata kayo? Try nyo yung situation na wala kahit ilang butil ng bigas na mailulugaw.
Life is a race for me.
Life is a race for me because almost every event in the 70-plus percent of my life was challenging beyond measure, at least, based on my pain tolerance during that time.
Life is a race for me because I’ve learned in the first 70-plus percent of my life how to desperately want to triumph over poverty at the soonest possible time.
Life is a race for me because life taught me how to consciously desire to look for opportunities that could help me distract myself from the pain caused by poverty.
It’s an all-or-nothing, do-or-die, go-home-or-go-big posture every time I see an opportunity.
I, therefore, conclude that before you preach to anyone that life is a marathon and not a race, ask them first if the majority of their life was spent in abundance or lack. Otherwise, you’re just nothing but a noising gong or a clanging cymbal.
You don’t have to agree with my conviction. After all, you didn’t go through what I exactly and literally went through. My conviction is unique to me and so is yours.
So, what is life to you?
Is life a race or a marathon for YOU?
Let me know in the comments.
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