The first runner is 100 feet ahead of almost everyone
but the second runner is very close behind him
The third runner is 50 feet behind the first two
The last runner is a shocking 100 feet the behind the first two.
Now a loudspeaker comes on revealing
there is one last runner who has not even appeared on the horizon yet.
An aerial view is offered of the running course,
We now see each of the runners had a different starting point.
And now we see the runner who has not yet appeared on the horizon.
The distance he has had to cross is incomparably longer
than any other runner in the race.
Though he is not yet in sight on the horizon,
this view reveals
the last runner to be miraculous.
The greater distance he has traveled is now witnessed.
His endurance, perseverance, and relentless striving
to conquer the disadvantage
has revealed the true victor.
The crowd cheers, reveling in his achievement.
But he can’t hear them or see them.
The distance is too great.
He is looking ahead for the runners he can’t catch up to.
He feels his race is lost, and begins to despair.
* * * * *
We can’t know another’s journey by watching the finish line.
If we can’t see the whole picture,
we can’t know who is in the lead, and who is falling behind
“The 10,000 things rise and fall without cease.” Lao Tzu.
When we see our neighbor who lives on the street
We can consider his unseen disadvantage
that has led to the disadvantage we can see.
Compassion may replace short-sighted judgment.
When we see someone doing so well
that our own life suddenly seems insignificant
We can consider the distance
that we have traveled
both within and externally.
And if after consideration
we find no justification
for the lack of tantamount achievement in our own life,
let’s not allow comparison to the well-doer to become self annihilation.
Let’s allow the comparison to inspire the fire to Strive;
that it may be received with empowering Gratitude
and never the obstacle of resentment.