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It is really about being better than someone else?
Do there always have to be losers and winners?

Comparing ourselves to others...when is it a good thing? Can you compare without putting others down?

Competition is a big part of our culture...our lives..when it is not appropirate...under what circumstance?

Does it promote aggression?

Sports, games, business, school, politics, religion... smarter, prettier, kinder, meaner...ratings

I've been watching little league ball games...just got me to thinking.

What about doing your personal best? Or heaven forbid be cooperative ? Thinking of the greater good?

Is it against human nature? Are we just naturally competitive?

Just some stuff I was rummaging around in the ol'e brain.

No right or wrong answers...LOL!

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Replies to This Discussion

I always loved the part in Desiderata that says: If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

I am NOT competitive at all --don't know why.  Maybe in verbal debate, but it's not competition.  It's that I think I am RIGHT, lol.

I bowl and I'm decent, but it's just me doing my personal best. As soon as someone throws competition into the mix, I choke.

I don't even root for a team. Back in the day when I watched a lot of major league baseball, I liked ALL the teams--truth! And I liked all the good players. All I was interested in were good games to watch.

I think I'm a process person, ergo the end result is not that important.

Personally, I think that a vicious need to be # 1 is a sign of deep, deep insecurity; An expression of a belief that something awful is nipping at your heels, something that will consume you if you don't put enough people between you and it to slow it down - Except it NEVER slows down.

It can also symbolize the cramped and restricted value systems of small, insular cultures - Winning the local bar scene's annual softball tournament is hardly the same thing as finding a cure for cancer, yet there is no doubt that it means the entire world to some people, which is kind of creepy. "Winning" can lead to some amazing stats in the record books, sure, but that only matters to people who are impressed by that sort of thing, and it can be a telling indicator of someone's own lack of scope and vision.

I've never been much of a competitor in games or sports I never cared that much about winning, just having fun and I get nervous about people who are really into card games etc. I stopped playing those years ago.

I do realize I have a huge character flaw when it comes to personal arguments, after living with a psychopath where I knew nothing was ever logical or I could not win I now won't back down much or allow someone to bully me. My response seems a little too aggressive when those buttons are pushed. I'm aware so try to moderate that now.

Ahhhh, Jo...I have a copy of the Desiderata hanging on a wall in my bedroom. I read it regularly.

I never participated in team sports..I did gymnastics and swimming and we were on a team but strove for our personal best..it's how our coach approached the idea.

Our schools received their results from our state tests and all the scores for each grade are published in the paper...and each school is graded A,B,C,D,F...this is all in the name of teacher accountability. The idea of collegiality and cooperation seems to be foreign concepts...it's all about competition..more of a business model.
Can you cooperate with your peers but still compete against one another?

I played tennis in high school and yeah I was competitive , years and years of lessons, I don't want to lose.  Now, no way.  I get out and just play for fun.  I'm always trying to improve my game and get upset when I have a bad day, but I leave it at the court.

There's a normal and healthy level of competition in the world, for resources and status - But when it's not enough to win on your own merits, when humiliating the loser is more important than actually winning the prize, there's a problem - And, too often, that seems to be the current model.

It seems that, as the event gets bigger and dumber, the prize gets more worthless and the competition gets pettier and nastier - We live in a "Dancing With The Stars" / "The Bachelorette" / "Survivor" reality-show / phony "competition" culture, where the glitziest, the creep who knows how to work a crowd and the least-ethical are held up as the smartest, the most tenacious and the most deserving of the laurels. And all the while the REAL world gets less and less attention paid to serious issues.

I'm not competitive. I care very little about other people's opinions of me. I try to make myself happy, it's a personal thing, based on my needs and desires...none of which involves outer comparisons. I have no interest in comparing myself to others. I laugh when I get ads saying things like lawn care services etc. will make me the envy of the neighborhood...they've got the wrong guy. I'm pleased with my life, many have done better....many have done worse...I don't care. As for sports I've actually had friends tell me I'm not a true sports fan...like I care...because I don't bleed any team colors. If they win good for them...if they lose it's no big deal to me...I guess I travel to a different drum.

well when i was younger i was pretty competitive .. i wanted to win at all costs and i almost always did .. but somethin comes over you and one day you realize win or lose life goes on .. its a game .. i'd still rather win than lose but i don't put myself out there as much and if i do lose i don't let it upset me ..even when i was younger if i lost i was a pretty good sport .. but i'd vow to get em the next time .. and i usually did .... now ??   who cares ?? i'm not sure where that came from .. perhaps that need for approval cause my dad left when i was 8 .. if i was a winner than who couldnt love and respect me but the truth is people might fear you if you can kick their ass but that don't make em really like you .. or they may want to be on your team cause you're a winner but that still don't mean they'll like you .. and if you rub it in they certainly don't like that .. you mature and your viewpoint changes .. them little league parents should be counciled before they're allowed to watch their kids play .. kids learn what they're taught at home usually so if mom and dad are so into it that its win at any cost why should the kids be any different ?? sports can be a fun way to unite kids and give em a great bonding experience along with some good physical activity as opposed to a day in front of the tv.. but it should never be the whole enchilada .. you win , you lose .. deal with it , try harder next time but don't lose any sleep over it .. i used to box for the PAL when i was younger and did the whole golden gloves thing and i was pretty good at it but i walked away from it all .. it just didn't light my fire anymore which seemed to upset the guy my mom got to be my big brother way more than me .. ( sorry mr rigby ) even tho i won almost all my fights i didn't think it was all that much fun .. so i guess what i'm tryin to say here is a little competition is ok .. but too much not so much .. we have to find that happy medium   

I personally never played competitive sports, I wasn't a jock.  Nor was I want to enter competitions be it science, spelling, math, writing or the like.  So I don't consider myself a competitive person.  However, I do see the benefits of competition and believe it can be used for good.  And yes that means there are winners and losers.  The key I think is in the hands of the coaches and teachers involved to ensure that kids understand that the whole point is to benefit everyone.  When you are a competitor and you lose, it is important to examine why, learn from the effort and continue to strive to do better and perhaps one day ultimately win, but the most important aspect is the growth, the learning process that comes from trying, failing and trying again.   And winners need to be taught that  grace in success is important always.  Be happy in your own success but never at the expense of the others that fail, because that is not real success.  


Blythe said: Our schools received their results from our state tests and all the scores for each grade are published in the paper...and each school is graded A,B,C,D,F...this is all in the name of teacher accountability. The idea of collegiality and cooperation seems to be foreign concepts...it's all about competition..more of a business model.
Can you cooperate with your peers but still compete against one another?

I think this is such a bad idea. Teachers are not competitive with each other unless they have personality issues. One of the best things I USED to love was the collegiality and the willingness to share what we learned through trial and error. Making teaching competitive throws it into a whole other realm --cooooooooold.




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