Second can be a good place to be

Randy Butler Contributing columnist

Randy Butler Contributing columnist

Being released in 1939, “Gone with the Wind” is considered one of the greatest movies of all time. Most females would agree. With a longer than average running time of 221 minutes it was considered by most critics to be way too long and dramatically unconvincing. But the film grabbed eight academy awards that year and grossed an astonishing $390 million dollars.

With inflation factored in, it is still the highest grossing film of all time.

“Gone with the Wind” was light years ahead of its time. Taking only 11 months to film, it covered war, racism, slavery, life and death, along with other controversial topics. Another interesting first was profanity. The film’s producer was fined $5,000 for Rhett Butler’s famous line. That was the first time profanity was used in a film.

How could any of the other films that year compete with Rhett and Scarlett?

Knowing the statistics for “Gone With The Wind,” how would you like to be second place to that? How would it be to be that guy? I wonder if anyone even knew other movies existed in 1939?

I am pretty sure no one enjoys losing. We are taught and encouraged to always try to win the trophy, get the prize, be the best, and so on. We have all heard that second place is only the first loser. To quote the famous Ricky Bobby, “If you’re not first, your last.” Is this true? I hope not, but maybe it is, at least partially.

Isn’t it good at times to watch others succeed and to be happy for them — even if they may have succeeded over us? This happiness for others can be difficult to obtain.

Imagine yourself on “American Idol.” You have spent the past few months competing week after week. It is down to the final episode where the next American Idol will be announced. Guess what? It isn’t you. How do you react to the defeat on national television?

On the inside you would be stark raving mad and losing your mind, but what reaction would those watching you see?

Any coach will tell you that you will win some and lose some. The question is, will we be good at being a loser as well as being a winner, depending on what end we are on? Or worse yet, what if we come home with only the dreaded participation ribbon? We won nothing.

We will experience all levels many times during our lifetime. Being a person that accepts not winning or not being good at whatever I do is a tough one for me. I need so much help and humility to accomplish this almost monumental task.

As Columbo used to say just as he was leaving many years ago in his 1970s TV series, “Just one more thing.”

There was another movie made in 1939. It won only two awards and lost in almost every category to “Gone With The Wind.” It was adapted from a children’s book written in 1900. It failed to make any money at all until it was re-released in 1949. It had Munchkins, flying monkeys, a tin man, a lion, and a scarecrow, and a yellow brick road. As a kid it came on TV only once a year and whatever I had going on, I made sure I did not miss it. You may have heard of it — “The Wizard Of Oz.”

I guess second place can be a good place to be.

Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.

Randy Butler Contributing columnist Butler Contributing columnist