Finishing 2nd is a good thing

I read the newspapers and drink the coffee as I pass through Calgary. Canada is a frozen tundra much of the year, except during the summer when it can be warmer than San Francisco. 

Canada may not be #1 in most polls or contests when compared with its neighbor to the South.

After spending much time with Canadians outside of their homeland, it doesn’t surprise me that Canada ranked #2 in this report versus a lowly ranking of #19 for the United States.

Canadians are really good people. They deserve the recognition especially in a world trending towards polarization, nationalism and runaway capitalism at the expense of civility and social progress. 

Nonetheless, winning should be about caring, too. This contrasts with a winner-take-all mentality driving most human decisions. Has America grown into a business from its humble civic roots? A business culture creates many opportunities, but doesn’t enable  the safety nets of government. The playing field has never been level for all. Some folks believe Trumponomics is the only way forward. Most of the world disagrees. 

I would recommend reading the Social Progress Index along with this book.  

This winner-take-all mindset appears to be the root cause of all of the world’s problems. It’s hard not to embrace for those who are positioned to win by hard work and good timing. This is what fuels entrepreneurship.   

What about the 99% who’s odds of winning are slim to none? How can we reverse this trend? 

We can study our Canadian neighbors to the North who seem to care more about things like basic services, opportunities, healthcare, education, housing, governance and freedom from discrimination. It’s also a society with less poverty and crime. 

Sometimes winning is about celebrating 2nd place with your neighbors.