How to win in an unfair life

It was an unequal race — not fair.

During my 6th grade, our sports teacher announced an impromptu bike race to celebrate the end of the annual sports day.

The near-certain winner was the son of the Commanding Officer of the local air force station, who had an imported 5-gear bike. In those ancient days, geared bikes were virtually unheard of in India.

The race started with 7 to 8 participants but one by one, they started falling behind and dropping off. Finally, two kids were left — one with the 5-gear bike and another with a normal red-colored Indian bike.

The school was loudly cheering them — both the kids were very well-liked. And soon, they were neck to neck, pedaling furiously, neither giving a quarter. But within a few rounds, the kid with the normal bike took over and won the race, amidst deafening cheers.

We were stunned. How could an imported high-performance bike lose?

Over the years, I have realized that what matters more is not whose bike has more gears but who has more spirit. Sure, you might have to paddle a bit harder, but that is life.

Life will always be unfair. There will always be someone whose bike has more gears than yours.

But no machinery in the world is more powerful than the human spirit. And you have that.

– Rajan

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