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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Even Winning is Losing

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As a child, I used to visit the Kiwanis Club on a regular basis. There were lots of different activities, singing, and fun games.

In particular, I remember everybody getting a “number” on a piece of paper as they would walk in the front door. At some point during the ceremonies, a number would be called, and somebody would win a prize. It was so exciting!!

For years, I didn’t win a thing. But, one day, it finally happened!! They called out my number…

I went on stage and was told to pick a prize from the prize table. I couldn’t see the prize table, and I didn’t know what was on it. I couldn’t recognize any of the prizes. I didn’t know what was available to me.

So, I just froze and didn’t know what to do. The announcer told me to hurry up, and eventually said, “I’m going to give you three seconds to pick something. One, two…”

I quickly grabbed whatever I could as fast as I could. I think it was some type of adjustable toy similar to a Rubik’s Cube. It was not what I wanted.

There were friends who were laughing at me for picking something so silly. There were so many better prizes I could have picked, they would explain. Why would I pick that stupid prize? My brother tried to defend me, pointing to the fact that I only had three seconds to choose. I’m not sure if he understood what happened, either.

No explanation was ever given. It’s not because I was afraid of communicating, but rather me not understanding in that moment. It’s only years later that I understand that I couldn’t see. Back then, I didn’t know that I couldn’t see. My reality was just that nobody was telling me about my prize options. And why would life be so unfair for me like that?

That question still holds true today. Why is life so unfair like that? It’s nobody’s fault, yet it is cruel and unusual punishment to have somebody live a life so slanted against them.

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