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On competition

In the land of competition, who is king?

Is it efficiency? Productivity? GDP or disposable income? Maybe it’s something more tangible than concepts and figures, something so easy as the size of the house or the exclusivity of the car. Maybe it’s the number of vacations or contacts in the cell phone. The length and cost of the commute to work, perhaps, or the digits in the GPA?

Where do you draw the line, where does the buck stop?

I have an older car, he has a newer car. He has leather seats and navigation; I have a dented bumper. I accelerate more gently, drive slower, and use my brakes less than the other guy so my car has less wear and tear . He gets home faster, drives for less time, but I get better fuel efficiency. I spend less money at the gas station, on maintenance, on insurance. The buck stops here.

Guy 1 is older than Guy 2 by a few years. Guy 2 is Guy 1′s boss and makes more money than him. Guy 2 went to a lesser college than Guy 1 and happened to become boss sheerly by luck. Guy 1 and Guy 2 both have loving wives and young children. Guy 1 gets to spend more time at home because he’s not chasing feverishly after that promotion like Guy 2 is. Guy 2 has more money in his bank, a bigger house, and drives a better car. Guy 1 has some age-related health issues. Guy 2′s wife, although she’s not leaving him, is less than happy with the minimal time he’s home to spend with her and the kids, even on weekends. Where’s the finish line beyond which to declare the winner?

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