The company that I work for has a book lending table in the break room and the other day I looked down and saw the autobiography of Quincy Jones as one of the selections. I thought to myself that maybe I should write an autobiography, but then who would read it. I mean my life hasn’t been that interesting. I could call it “An Autobiography of an Ordinary Person”, but that might not sell unless there was some other catchy title. But then again, there is a certain perverseness that people have; a voyeuristic tendency to spy on your neighbors to see what their lives are up to. I suppose it has to do with the competitive nature we have. As humans in the stone age, there had to be a fierce survival personality in order to live, which I think has carried over in us all to some extent – some more than others.
Competition is a funny thing. I know people, like my brother, who have a strong streak in them and compete with everything they do. When I was growing up, my brother was always trying to beat me at everything. I compensated, I suppose more than competed, but to some extent it was mainly more sibling rivalry to get to him before he got to me. Case in point was the time he broke his arm. We had a rope tied to a high branch in our backyard that he and I would swing on. At one side there was a cement patio where we would start the swing from and at the other a swing set that had no swings. Our biggest game was to swing from the patio to the swing set and leap to grab hold of the top bar. The leap was not very far and we made it every time. I supposed this one time, I decided that the leap was to close and it would be more of a challenge to move the set further so we could “fly” longer. I moved it too far and he fell and landed on a log that was under the set on his arm.
His completive nature was evident years later when we were up at the mountain house with our respective spouses and played a game of Monopoly. He was ruthless in that game and we stayed up until the wee hours playing. My husband and I finally went to bed and my brother challenged us to play more after breakfast the following day. Even his wife said, “give it a rest, already”. I have heard it said that younger siblings have this streak just because they are always trying to get the attention of their parents away from their older sibling. Maybe that’s it. Or maybe he has tapped into the survival mode in life which just might make him the stronger person.