Don't compete, instead co-operate

Don't compete, instead co-operate

​If you can't win, make the fellow ahead of you break the record.. - Evan Esar

The word competition itself is malicious in nature, because while competing, the simple mantra is to elevate the self by beating down or pushing aside others.

Though most of us indulge in healthy competition all the time, nevertheless, one thing common to all kinds of competitions is the underlying desire to win a victory for the self or to defeat others.

While competing, a person brings out his skill, ability, art, acumen or talent to show that he is superior, stronger, better, more powerful, more skillful, more learned or competent than the others.

It is this habit of making comparisons with others that creates a background for competition; that is why we always get to see this subtle desire in people who are winners, to hear some words of praise about oneself or one’s performance. To fulfil this ultimate objective of massaging their egos, one does not care if the other person feels disappointed, depressed, defeated and even humiliated, ridiculed or booed.

To understand this kind of sadistic behaviour, one needs to understand human psychology very closely, because these roots of comparison and competition have been sown in our minds since our childhood days and hence they become more rigid with the passage of time.

We need to understand that the core objective behind competition is not simply the desire of winning a victory for the self or the group, but it is intertwined with the motive of laying the softer and nobler sentiments of co-operation, kindness and gentleness aside even though for a while, and putting in all energies and talents to bog down or defeat another person and leave him/her behind in the race while making a forward thrust to reach the goal before anyone else.

It is this distortion of intention or malignancy in the desire that may, sooner or later, add an iota of selfishness in behaviour and reduce the level of love, kindness, generosity and gentleness and may put a limit on one’s spirit of giving, helping, co-operation and sacrificing.

For, anything that is small and insignificant in the beginning has the potential of growing and becoming big.

Hence, we must not forget that even though a spark or flame of fire may be small to start with but it can reduce a big apartment with valuables to ashes if it grows into a big fire.

Thus, we should be careful and vigilant, because if the whole society catches this contagion or infection of selfishness or habit of rivalry, then it may spoil the charm of life and the atmosphere in society. Remember, the only competition that should matter us is the one that takes place within ourself.

Hence, it is better to defeat one’s inner demons first and become victorious from within to be an example for others to follow.

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