Horse race

In a little more than a week, we will see billions of people celebrating the year of the Horse.
Horse race has not been popular in regions where urban centers were over-developed (in South of Los Angeles, the Hollywood race track in Inglewood has just been closed).
No Kentucky Derby here in Vietnam either. Just a tiny Phu-Tho track, pale in comparison.
Fortune was made and lost there in those races.
Apparently, gambling has moved online, leaving the old land-based world behind.
Macao has become a new magnet, a gamblers’ destination.
Neighboring countries like Singapore and Cambodia took notes and came up with their own game plan to lure tourist and gambling dollars.
You may call this another horse race.
So, we got “rat race”, as coined by Westerners, to the top of the totem pole (fame and fortune). We then have horse races to get a windfall (fortune), then we got the arms race, space race when superpowers jockey for supremacy (power).
On a personal level, while racing, we forgot who we are.
We don’t recognize the person staring at us in the mirror any more.
By the time we got to the finishing line of the rat race or horse race, we no longer recognize the winner or losers. All got mud in their faces.
Victory might be sweet for a few, but overall, we all losers to ourselves.
Call it lost dream or lost soul.
We no longer get angry (because anger often times is the flip side of caring, but not getting the expected results) because we have turned apathetic towards our own needs and wants. Like in Don’t Dream It’s Over, “in the paper today, there are tales of war and of waste, but we turn right over to the TV Page”.
But for now, let’s keep on playing the game (of pretense that we will go on living forever etc…), unlike Steve Jobs who once said ” I looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
So the upcoming year of the Horse, once you decided to stay in the race, be that top dog. Always be in training, and be at your best form and top speed. Be that Subject Matter Expert.
Set the pace, raise the standard. Winning and losing, the difference is only an eyelash (MacArthur).
Just remember, it’s lonely at the top. And when you get there, make sure you have a plan B (next year’s goal), or else, like Ted Turner’s dad, who shared with his son about being at a loss when all his set-goals had been achieved “Son, always set your goals high, so you can keep on going. Don’t be like me, who reached all my goals and now, feeling lost”. His Dad committed suicide in a bathtub shortly after.
Happy New Year (of the Horse).


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