Kobe Bryant

Reading about the accidental demise of the legendary NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant, was quite shocking.

I was reminded of the famous quote that you may have seen posted on a poster somewhere: “Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

According to Internet resources, it was first said by Christopher McDougall. The survival of the fittest is a maxim that is for each species, the lions are competing amongst themselves, and the gazelles have to outrun each other, escaping from the lion.

Speaking of such competition, would Humans on Earth have a common or uniform, survival of the fittest understanding? There are the Olympic games that are held every four years, where there is a great disparity in the medal tallies. Some countries score hundreds of medals and many show nil medals to their names. Indians now win gold in many events, and not just field hockey. Large contingents are still sent out to the Olympic games, by all the countries. The business world too is similarly skewed, with the G10 countries dominating the rest. Maybe someday the business acumen of India will also be recognized outside the information technology domain. It appears to be the business equivalent of field hockey in sports. That would be a nice day.

So, I think a global economy is good, in the sense of getting used to the world competition in business. Maybe one is one the losing side for a number of years, or even decades. Eventually, the young people of every country will have to try to win according to the same rules. There will always be people preserving culture, or the old ways of doing things. Witness the Kabaddi league in India which is pretty enthusiastically played and sponsored. Joseph Stiglitz, a former professor of Economics, has written a book called Globalization and its Discontents. He has worked at the White House for President Clinton, and also at the World Bank.

From the early pages of the book, I gathered that globalization has failed in many emerging countries and formerly communist countries, and succeeded in some.  I intend to read it soon to find out if he thinks that these countries who have not adapted quickly, will catch up someday.


By Dr. Badri Toppur
Associate Professor, Rajalakshmi School of Business, Chennai
Email –

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