One of the first things we learn as we live, is that living requires effort on our part. For each moment presents us with tasks we must meet; if we want to continue to exist. So we work to master the array of challenges we face everyday. Since the better we meet these obstacles, the greater are our chances for a successful life. Because it’s so important to us, we will use any strategy or tool we find, to make sure that we survive.
As each of us is different, we each have a personal understanding of which choices we should make. Along with our own set of tools to help us decide what is best to do. When we have an idea or a process or other tool that gives us an edge over others; we have an advantage. It doesn’t matter whether the edge is due to natural skills, an accidental discovery, or an inheritance. But it does mean we have some additional help which improves our chances for victory or success.
It is natural for us to use or press an advantage we have. No one is surprised when they see someone use available assets to get what they want or need. But while some of us gain our advantage through effort or ingenuity; others of us get their advantage as a birthright. When we have that advantage it is an edge we take for granted. We see it as the normal order of things. Since those of us in this position may have long enjoyed the benefits an advantage gives us.
So it is not a surprise if we conclude that any benefits we have are how things were meant to be. And since having an advantage over others aids our survival; most of us won’t give up that edge easily. Especially when the rewards of this status is a decisive or on going boost towards reaching our goals. Thus when we are in that situation we are likely to view our competitors as a threat to what is right and good. As well as a danger to our safety and well-being.
When we have other people at a disadvantage we may use our superior position to set them back even farther. This allows us to increase the edge over our rivals. Which puts our competition in a weak or untenable state. It may create circumstances where they can not overcome their compromised lot. If we are among those who are disadvantaged, we will fight as hard as we can to end or reverse the handicap. And will likely see those who maintain an advantage over us as oppressors.
But for our advantage to persist over time; it needs a setting which protects this benefit against changes. Or our favored position will not last. Therefore we must work to suppress anyone or anything which opposes the advantage. We are apt to do this even when there are better choices we can make. It happens because most choices open to us require we consider other people’s wants and needs. And not our own. Yet having an edge doesn’t always mean we will make the most of it. For none of us is without flaw; nor do anyone of us know all possibilities.
For an advantage will do us little good if we don’t know how to use it. Or what we could do with it. More than that, when we work to disadvantage other people; we often hurt ourselves. We are so alike, and share so many needs in common; that restricting others often means limiting our own possibilities. For it is true that one man cannot hold another man down in a ditch; unless he gets into the ditch with him. So it is critical that we know what choices we make really give us an edge. And which imagined advantages actually hold us back.
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J. A. Stubbs, Editor-In-Chief
Forgotten Lore Publishing, llc