By Theo Vuong, Staff Writer
Everyone is the protagonist of their own story and the antagonist in someone else’s story. Since we all perceive ourselves as the “good guy,” we justify all of our actions and can always find some reason as to why we do certain things. Unfortunately, no matter how much of a “good guy” we are, we simply cannot avoid being the “bad guy” for others. Life is comparable to a ladder with the goal of climbing to the top; during one’s own ascent, he or she will block the path for others.
One instance of success equates to one instance of failure for another person. For example, making the cut for the basketball team means that another aspiring individual will not get the chance to play on the court for that year. Winning a position in a club means that other members applying for that same position will lose leadership opportunities and maybe even the potential to help their club on a deeper level.
Even actions with the best intentions can prove to be damaging. For instance, some people wish to become doctors in order to help others. Medical schools only admit the top students into their programs, making the selection process extremely fierce and competitive. In turn, the only way to get into a position to help others is to crush the dreams of another aspiring individual. So while one sees themselves striving to reach their own goals, becoming a doctor and fixing the world as a “good deed,” they are unintentionally turning the world upside down for someone else.
This cycle is natural due to the competitive nature of humans. Competition is not all bad; it drives progress. But for one person to climb up, another must step down or even fall off the ladder completely, sometimes never to recover from their descent. The cycle can not stop. It’s impossible. The damage caused by this cycle, however, can definitely be alleviated. We do not know how much damage we have caused, but we must know there are some things needed to fix. We do not know how far up the ladder we will reach. But when we have hit our peak, it is time to turn around and help others climb.