And They’re Off@

Daniel - Temecula, California
Entered on April 29, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that nice guys finish first. Unfortunately, I have lived most of my life thinking just the opposite. Even knowing this I still tried my best to lead a life of humility and compassion. Relationships in High School only strengthened the notion that my efforts were vain. I grew uneasy, but I pressed on in life not really understanding why.

I lived with eyes wide shut. Something that changed abruptly when they told me my mom had brain cancer. Everything came to a shrieking halt and I felt a sharp jolt move down my spine.

It was in that moment that I realized how wrong I really was.

It was in that moment that I knew that we would be okay.

If I kept on believing what I believed then it would mean that the cancer would be the end of it, it would mean that we would lose. It was an idea that I couldn’t swallow, I just couldn’t do that do my family and friends.

So I changed, for the better. Now, my life has a purpose, now I know I will be the first to finish.

The notion of finishing first is all relative. If you ask a 100 different people what it meant you would probably get a 100 different answers. Some see winning as getting the best car, biggest home, highest paying job, or having a family.

My notion of winning is vastly different. Instead it is not something that nobody can be stolen from me. It is the satisfaction and the pride in knowing that I treated others with the respect and dignity that they deserve. That alone puts me in the lead, above all else.

It is dying happy, knowing that I lived a fulfilling life and I made the lives around me more fulfilling as well. It is something that can only be achieved through being nice to yourself and the others around you. It is the reason why nice guys finish first.

What this all means that if life happened to be The Kentucky Derby then I would put all my money on the nicest horse. Not because I think it would win, but because I know it would win.