Chloe Henderson

Winning. Starting as young as preschool, I was taught to win. Taught by my parents, family, teachers, and friends. I was taught to be the best in the class, to have the highest grades, to be the fastest runner, to color in the lines the best, and to win. With this impressive imprint of expectation, I have grown up trying to win. But as I continue to age, I speculate the moral definition of winning.

        By dictionary, winning is “gaining or relating to victory in a contest or competition.” If, in my life, all I am trying to do is win a “contest or competition”, what game am I playing? Am I just a pawn in a large game that society pressures me to be in? A game of monopoly where the only objective is to earn money and houses to “win.” Are these artificial materials the goals that every person in this world should strive for to achieve happiness? To meet the conjectures of society and to win?

In life, if my goals and societal expectations are to win, then what am I trying to win? Money? Commodity? Friends? Or is there a deeper meaning to winning? As I grow older, I continue to be taught to win. I am taught to have the highest grades, to win the most matches, to be the best sister, to have the best projects, and to win. Over the past few months, after losing a tough tennis match to a novice opponent, I have started to scrutinize my life goals, personal objectives, and my purpose in the world. With advice from mentors, I have come to the conclusion that winning is not equivalent to materials or even a score board.

By my new philosophy and my ethical definition, winning is being the best person that I can possibly be in all aspects of my life including tennis, school, family, friends, and within society, despite the possible outcomes. The purpose of life is to achieve happiness and contentment. By doing the best I can and always giving one hundred and ten percent, I can be satisfied and prideful with my effort and with myself. As berserk as it may sound, in tennis, I have learned to try not to win, but rather to focus on just trying my best. Giving my utmost effort in life is the only thing I have control over. I cannot control the questions on the test, the shot my opponent hits, the obnoxious comment my sister makes, the college I get into, the job I will get; but I can control the amount of time I study, the shot I decide to return to my opponent, my response to my sister, my time and effort put into college preparation and applications, and my preparation for a job.

Just recently I have been taught to truly win. Taught by my previous failures, my mentors, and my inquisitions. I have been taught to try my hardest in class, to study and prepare for tests, to run as fast as I can, to be creative and draw outside the lines sometimes, and to be gratified by being the best version of Chloe Henderson.