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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Tuesday, July 17 2001

Competition

Yesterday's entry on athletic prowess and its lack suggested today's topic.

I prefer to think I hate competition and usually decline to compete in any overt sense, but I suspect more innately that competition is part of all creaturely existence. The Darwinian formula, "survival of the fittest," has enough truth about it to get Darwin far more credance than his poor science ever merited. Every species competes to survive and/or thrive, and if I decline to compete in playing fields I still compete in other ways: academically, professionally, even religiously.

Academic achievement came to me easily, though I doubt that I even thought of competing (trying harder) to excell in the fifth grade. I wanted to please my teacher and my parents and doing so resulted in better grades than just about anyone else in the class. When that was noticed, I began to notice, too, and to compete to stay at the top in the next round of report cards.

When an influx of St. Mary's School alumni joined us in seventh grade, I was knocked from the top of the honor roll and then found another way to compete. I would be the first to have a career choice and to make some money at it. Since it was journalism and I was easily hired as the Belsano correspondent of the Ebensburg weekly paper, I easily attained those goals. Topping that by becoming the Sedloff Publications teen columnist called for more creativity, but all my efforts paid off and were rewarded by being voted "Most likely to succeed" in my graduating class. I thought and perhaps those who voted for me thought I'd already succeeded, at least for a 17-year-old coalminer's son. My success and luck continued when I was promoted to "editor" while still a college undergraduate.

Several people who've checked out my online curriculum vitae (aka my "personal web page") have commented on my success or successes. I agree that in terms of my goals, I've succeeded, though true fame and true affluence allude my grasp. (I'm glad I'm not a member of the class just behind ours...one of its members, my friend David Carney, attained a vice presidency at one of the largest and most successful corporations in the world, AT&T...but even saying that attests to my competitive side, doesn't it?) Some of my classmates are already voluntarily retired, so in a sense they're more successful than I, and of course those still married to their original spouse are also more successful in the partnering sense.

I loathe the philosophy in the Sinatra song "My Way," having made a career most of adult life of preaching "God's way" as the proper alternative. But if there's such a thing as "my way being God's way" and if success is being blessed, I'm no failure.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Some tests to give yourself before starting a family
(collect 'em all)

Those of you who already have kids can relate! Some of these might make you cry. For those just considering having kids, this might make you think twice. Either way, enjoy. . .Zan

PHYSICAL TEST (Women) Obtain a large bean bag chair and attach it to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for 9 months.

FINANCIAL TEST Go to the nearest drug or grocery store. Set your wallet on the counter. Ask the clerk to help himself.

Sent by Zan

Arts and hearts

How can the arts overcome the slow dying of men's hearts that we call the progress of the world, and lay their hands upon men's heart-strings again, without becoming the garment of religion as in old times?

—William Butler Yeats

Sent by Andrew Damick

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