I dislike competitions and strive to avoid them as best as I can, because competitions always make me feel dreadful. If I lose, I feel bad; If I win, I feel bad for people who haven’t won, and simultaneously I also can’t help wondering if the sense of triumph is shallow, short-lived, giving me the false idea of my strength.
This is why I can’t seem to select my favorite books for 2020 since selecting the favorites feels like a rejection of all those not being selected. Worse, after selecting the favorites, I might form a dogmatic view of thinking that these are my favorite and thus overvalue them, while at the same time undervalue the rest.What is supposed to be a simple selection of books turns out to be more complicated. Let’s give up on the very idea of favored books since my sympathy for all the books I read overwhelm my happiness for the favored ones, although I do have preferences for H. L. Mencken, C. L. Lewis, Edna St. Vincent Millay. Most writers are happy pessimists, aren’t they?
Human mind is too keen on creating orders and preferences for the perceived disorder of the world, not knowing that in the process of doing that we make ourselves dogmatic and biased. Already, life is institutionalized more than it should be. Let’s add as little order as possible on top of it.
For the same reason I really dislike those medal ceremonies for Tennis Grand Slam or Olympics. Only one person is outrageously happy. And the rest are not. The runner-up is especially unhappy and has to pretend he is a good sport while thinking of strategies to dethrone the champion as soon as possible. I don’t blame him since often the difference between the two is minimum and negligible, and the fuss the world makes about that tiny difference is laughable.