Monday, July 06, 2009

An Inspirational Rivalry

As an only child, I don't have any experience in the area of sibling rivalry. I've seen it a lot, though, in the lives of friends and acquaintances, but it never seems to accomplish anything positive; rather, it breeds a quiet, malignant resentment.

There is one example of sibling rivalry that even those of us who don't have siblings can learn from, though...the famous tennis-playing sisters, Serena and Venus Williams. Both are considered top contenders in their sport, and are pitted against each other in nearly every major tennis competition. But rather than succumb to the out-and-out hostility that often plagues sports rivals, they seem to inspire one another to do better. They remain close off the court, and I've seen several pictures of them standing side by side holding trophies. One sister, of course, is holding the lower-ranked trophy, but there's no difference in the wattage of their smiles.

I think we can all learn from the Williams sisters, whether our rivals are family members, friends, or complete strangers. They don't allow jealousy to color their view; they simply hit harder, run faster, push farther, and at the end of the day, no matter who wins, they go home sisters.

Jacquelyn Sylvan is the author of Surviving Serendipity. Check it out at!

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