Thursday, June 9, 2011

What is it with people anyway? or On Winning

The largest recorded dish of tabbouleh was created on October 24, 2009 in Beirut, Lebanon. It weighed 3557 kilograms and earned a Guinness World Record. The record was previously held "by the citizens of Majdal Shams, Israel on March 21, 2008" when it made a bowl of tabbouleh weighing 2170 kg.
Intending to look up a recipe for tabouli this morning, I cam across the above on Wikipedia.  I must be working inside myself on the perennially arising desire to Achieve Something, because I keep noticing the ubiquity of efforts to Win!  Winning is big and red like that, it is yang, and yang is in the air this time of year.  I often think the bigger-better-winning neurosis is deeply in the American character, but here it is overseas.

Are we born this way?  I can't quite see winning as a survival skill, except winning a wrestling match with a bear for a salmon so you can stay alive.  Winning, achieving . . . I think lately about David Foster Wallace, the writer who had already written what many people call a masterpiece.  Now he wanted to write something more important, to surpass himself.  This is common with writers and athletes, who want to beat their "personal best."  Now Wallace is dead by his own hand. It seems he couldn't stand the pressure he was putting on himself.

Winning.  There are many high-flyers in this world who are proud of their aggressive collecting of money, real estate, women, stuff, power.  I've known of women in this category, but not many.  It's yang, masculine, testoserone-fueled.  If you asked them, "What is it that will be enough, that will satisfy you?"  I think these high-flyers would immediately say, "Nothing.  I'll never stop aiming higher" or some nonsense like that.  So here's my motto today:  Why not aim low?  Hey, maybe you'll meet your goal that way, if you insist on having one.

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