e∙clipse (əˈklips): an obscuring of the light from one celestial body by the passage of another between it and the observer or between it and its source of illumination.
Mainstream culture has fostered the idea that for one thing to manifest, another must suffer. The endorsement of this idea has created in our society unhealthy competition. Unlike scientific and biblical indications that darkness cannot exist where there is light, this is not true for people.
Have you noticed the perpetual proclamations of superlatives in our culture, that deem one to be supreme against all? For example: “King of the South”, “Queen Bey”, “we the best”, “number one this”, and “top of the charts that”. Yes, it’s great to show reverence for someone or something you support, or even to hype someone for their accomplishments. We must, however, be cognizant of the lasting effects this behavior produces; forging unrealistic expectations and perceived inadequacy, most importantly. We must be able to disseminate between propaganda and real life, not allowing someone’s marketing or PR tools to pour over into our daily life. Let us, together, promote healthy growth. Yes, you and Beyoncé have the same 24 hours, but do you have Beyoncé’s upbringing, her resources, her support system, her goals or her drive? Surely you do not, because her experience is her own. It is not meant for you. If your younger sister gets married before you, why trip? If your best friend got his dream job and you’re making ends meet in a job you dislike, then change. Unhealthy behavior would be to compare your situation to theirs, and to sulk in your detriment rather than figuring out ways to be the best version of yourself.
We must be able to disseminate between propaganda and real life, not allowing someone’s marketing or PR tools to pour over into our daily life.
Yet, how can we change when mainstream media has adopted these formidable traits as well, cultivating insecurity and hate, rather than confidence and support. A classic example is women in rap and hip-hop. As Cardi B’s popularity has increased, the media has claimed an annihilation of Nicki Minaj; as if one cannot exist without the other. And by claiming competition amongst these two both capable women, the idea has derived that they both cannot coexist in the game and still be successful.
If there is one celestial paradigm that we should maintain, it’s that more than one star exists in the sky. Don’t allow other people’s progress, goals, and achievement eclipse your own. Your only competition is the person you were last year, last week, and even yesterday. Competition makes sense when there is equal opportunity and circumstance, like sports (supposedly), cars, and brands. Even amongst animals, competition exists as a means for survival. We are human. We do not require competition to survive. There is enough for us all to triumph. So, don’t focus on competing, just go win.