Competition Is The Symptom Of A Young And Immature Society
Op-Ed by Arjun Walia
We have embraced the idea of competition and even instilled it in our kids. Is it really good for us? or are we missing the point altogether?
The most challenging obstacles to the evolution of our race are the ones we fail to recognize. These hindrances are generally held in plain sight; however, when one lacks the awareness of the negative, the problem blends itself with the solution. Perhaps the most illusive and destructive tendency in this day and age, is the concept of competition.
The Face of Competition in Society Today
No one knows how the idea of competition came about. Is it a part of human nature or a learnt behaviour? Either way, competition has been around for a very long time. Throughout the ages, kings have fought for supremacy over the lands. Today, the swords and the guns have given way to a weapon of a different kind, economics. Businesses compete for profits; employees compete for promotions and people compete for work; and, while the times have changed, the mindset of survival of the fittest has maintained its grip over us.
Competition is Good for the Kids….So We’re Told
Parents eager to give their children a good start to life, waste no time in instilling the competitive mindset in these young minds. Many are pushed to be the best in class, best in sports, best in everything they do.
The media backed by a conglomerate of corporations, keep feeding us with the idea that competition is good for us either directly or implied. It is a quality employers seek amongst their staff. Money which is the lifeblood of our society is closely associated with work and work is often paired with competition. In essence, we’re being told of the necessity to compete in order to survive.
The Other Facet of Competition Not Many Dare To Look At
The issue with adopting a specific mindset is that it permeates through to the other aspects of life. While we are encouraged to compete primarily in our career, most of us do not or cannot prevent this idea from being expressed in other areas not quite suitable for competition.
The competitive edge is revered as a quality by many if not most and yet underneath its glittering praises are trails of family rivalries and broken friendships. We have to wonder if competition is so good for the economy and for the benefit of all, then why is it that beyond the borders of the civilized world is there so much chaos, poverty and famine? The problems of this world are a direct result of the competence of our world leaders past and present. We have to ask ourselves how come so many incompetent people made it to the world stage if we live in a competitive world?
What is Competition?
In a nutshell, the purpose of a competitive system is to allow the best candidate to make it through. The rules are set. People who want the prize are invited to send their application and the one conforming to all the rules is selected.
The Fine Line Between Competition and Judgment
This above scenario would apply if the rules and conditions are finely detailed, strictly adhered to and people are not involved. However, it is never the case. The final decision for selection always comes from a person; a person who has preferences and is inclined in ways no one else can be fully aware of.
The rules are usually bent if necessary to allow the preferred candidate through. This is where the fine line between competition and judgment is crossed and it is what leaves so many perplexed at their failure to make the cut.
In an Evolved Society, There is No Need to Compete
We could debate all day long about the pros and cons of competition depending on which angle one prefers to look at. From a higher perspective, competition is a symptom of a society that has yet to find its groove in the natural expansive process of life.
People are inclined to do what they are good at. When a society is still young and yet to expand into uncharted areas, the avenues for participation are limited and with the urgency for pulling in money looming in the background, people move towards what is available, thus the necessity for competition.
For those parents wishing the best for their children, should they be encouraged to learn about competition, or be helped in developing their creativity, thus inventing new avenues of occupation to cater for the needs of all? Which future would you rather live in?