Here’s something I just made up for a friend of mine.
Once upon a time, there was a small town.
In this town, there lived a number of athletes of high ability.
One day, they heard about a new type of athletic competition – the marathon.
The Mayor of the town offered a reward of many, many treasures to the winner of the marathon.
The athletes all trained for a few weeks. Then came the starting day. They all lined up and, on the Mayor’s call, set off.
The first person of the 5 athletes collapsed after 10 minutes of running.
The second 20 minutes later.
Halfway through, only 2 athletes remained.
They each ran as fast as they could, hoping to tire the other out so they could be the last man standing.
Eventually, one collapsed 2/3 of the way through the race. The other carried on at a more leisurely pace, having no more competitors
However, he had expended so much energy while running against his final competitor that he too collapsed, 3/4 of the way through.
That night, once all had recovered, he went to claim his prize as the man who had run the longest.
The Mayor, however, pointed out that he had not won – he was merely the last to lose.
And so the treasures remained with the Mayor.
The moral of the story?
If any of the men had run a leisurely pace throughout and conserved their energy, they could have won without a problem. However, in competing, they only ensured that they would all lose.
Metaphors for life?
Just because one thing might be better than others, it doesn’t neccessarily make it a winner – it may just be the last loser.