Since the dawn of Monopoly, mankind secretly seethed when they were the recipient of a Community Chest card that informed them of coming second in a beauty contest. I mean, who the fuck came first? I actually hate them even though I know they are ficticious.
Only joking. But there is no denying that there has been a bastard undercurrent running discreetly through the human race that suggests that we, as human beings, must compete. Yet, what the fuck do you even win by competing? In this sort of competition, your competitors will never congratulate you, never acknowledge your successes and never let you think you’ve won. Yes, a little competition never hurt anyone, but I’m talking about the type of full on hatred received from others who just hate you for even showing up to the race.
Throughout my life, others have been better than me. It’s a fact. It’s probably the driver behind my future successes but, for now, it’s occasionally disheartening and disappointing, but that’s life. The compulsion to sabotage others to make yourself feel better- now, that’s abnormal.
Yes, I’m talking about racism. Having been raised in a liberal household, I’m disgusted by some of the justifications for racism that I hear, such as ‘They are stealing our jobs’ or ‘Everyone’s entitled to an opinion’. Bitch, please. I’m sure had that small child hadn’t migrated you’d love to be standing in the middle of the road selling the Telegraph. Moron. My favourite restaurant, in my hometown of Belfast, is a little cafe called Byblos, run by the nicest and friendliest men with whom I’ve spent many an afternoon (incidentally, if you decide to go after reading this, I would really recommend the lamb). On a recent visit, my family and I remarked on how much better Brunswick Street is with the addition of this Lebanese gem. In addition to the creation of jobs and the generation of much needed income, tax and foot traffic, Byblos and the colourful rainbow of new businesses to have recently settled have paved the way for a better, more diverse Belfast, instead of an area of which, a Thai man once asked me, ‘Is that the place with the bombs?‘. If anyone disagrees that these new enterprises are anything more than fucking excellent and advantageous to our community, go to Boojum and have a burrito. See, I told you so.
And yes, everyone is entitled to an opinion- but more so we are entitled to a right to live, so please let us.
I’m not saying that racism is entirely based on a compulsion to see others fail, but I do believe that this compulsion and general hatred is a by-product of miseducation and uneducation, and erroneously perceiving another’s presence as a threat to your own abilities or opportunities.
I’d like to challenge this perception by pointing out that the only person who is truly a threat to you is YOU- you are the only one allowing your potential to be capped, you are the only one stopping you from going after what you want and you are your solution to the problems you’ve created (the problems that you think can only be rectified if others are suffering, you silly bastard).
And it isn’t just racism. The fear-based perception that ‘difference’ equals ‘threat’ is breeding in many forms- homophobia, gender discrimination, religious discrimination- the list is endless. And then there are the ones who just hate you for no reason other than that you’re putting yourself out there and going after what you want. I have never encountered a person who was similtaneously truly happy in their own life while unhappy for others. Just happy or unhappy. It’s up to you which one you are.
Accept that the achievements of others have no bearing on you or your performance. Accept that other peoples’ misery will not sustain your happiness for long- you will return to being miserable. Accept that the only person with any scope to change this is yourself.
Accept that change will happen in our lifetime- with or without you.
And just stop.