Paygrades, Kobe Bryant, and Second Graders

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What happens if Kobe Bryant keeps playing against second graders? Everyday, they go out and compete. He would probably score 200 points a game, not need any of his teammates, and think he’s better than he really is. He would probably not spend any time with his teammates after playing. I mean think about it. He is a grown man with grown thoughts. His teammates would go to Chuck E’ Cheeses after the games and eat pizza – although there is nothing wrong with this at age 26!!! Right? 🙂

Constantly playing with second graders may actually decrease his abilities because he would always be playing down to the competition. He would never improve. What is terrible is that he may grow worse! What a shame – his greatness may never be realized if he keeps playing with second graders.

The fact is we all deal with this in our lives. There are areas in our lives that we eat up the competition around us. We are lions among mice. While most people complain that they are the man among giants, what happens when you are the giant among men? The opposite problem of being ahead of the pack can be a lonelier and far greater curse. How dare I make such a claim, right? I mean afterall, you are probably thinking – “Oh look, Rajeev thinks he’s so high and mighty and that’s why he’s talking about being ahead of the pack.”

Perhaps. But it doesn’t make the idea less true. And it certainly doesn’t make the problem go away. Many of you are the same versions of yourselves five years ago because you hang around the same people. You don’t know if there is any better out there because you like being the strongest link. You won’t dare venture out to be the least impressive among those you move with.

So we come to the question – What do you do if you are the giant among men? What do you do when “game recognizes game” and you can’t recognize anyone around you. In my Thank You’s, I thanked 3 to 5 people. I will never thank any more than that because no one else has impacted my life. I’m very sure of this. Are you? Are you the type that attempts to learn from everyone because you think that’s the humble thing to do? Are you the one that sees good in everyone until everyone eats your face because you misread them? Our post-modern world loves to co-exist in harmony with one another in the most false ways. I’ve heard more people complimenting people as the years go by – and what is most sickening are the things that are being complimented and applauded. You won’t get kudos from me for doing basic things, or overcoming challenges everybody has to overcome.

When you are the Kobe Bryant in a youth summer league, you should do one of 2 things, or a combination of both:

1) You should desperately find people who can improve you and challenge you. You should move on from the infants that surround you. But make sure you really are the Kobe Bryant, and not one of the infants.

2) You should make every effort to be a leader – a CEO – the God-given strength for those around you. This can be powerful for people. But don’t stick around them. Don’t hang out. Don’t be mediocre. Do your job and keep it moving. The youth summer league love attention and they are very needy. If you are not a proper CEO, they will infiltrate your space and you will resent the hell out of them. They will at times think they are on your level. If they are especially needy, they will try and compare themselves to you. Don’t be alarmed. This is normal. So be very cautious. **Remember – you know your God – you don’t need anyone or anything else besides Him.

So a reminder to you very few giants – Lift up those that are around you, and your God will lift you up independently. People will tell you that this is unhealthy. Just laugh at them and continue on. No one likes a secure person.

Peace, and much love to you – John Baptist – fiyah!

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