Competitive Spirit - A World Threat?

in life •  21 days ago

Competition is said to be a natural survival instinct among all creatures. Creatures compete for access to food, shelter, mating partner, and to save one’s own life in case of calamities and emergencies.

Should we be always competing with others?


But today humans spend competing with each other, all their life. Whether it is for admission in a school or university, a job or a promotion, gaining social status and respect in their community, or even playing some sport; we have created a system where we need to compete to gain anything. The spirit of competition is so ingrained in us through our social conditioning that we compete even for trivial things like getting a seat in public conveyance, cheating the queue to bill desk in departmental stores, driving our way ahead in a heavy traffic, fetching a ticket to the first show of a blockbuster movie and even to pick up the dinner plate and dishes in a buffet party. Should we be competing for such trivial things too? Or do we ever need to compete with each other?

Social acceptance to the spirit of competition is a concern


IMHO, the spirit of competition is the root cause of all major world problems. We have created a culture where one-upmanship is desired and rewarded. Society has made competition a benchmark for measuring all your life’s achievements and accomplishments. If you have earned a huge amount of money in your life, it proves to the society that you are very competitive and hence competent. If you reach to the top of a corporate ladder or successfully get a high-profile position in your career beating all competition, you are respected and held in high esteem in the society.

Thus we have created things like ‘money’ and ‘designations’ as indicators of success. In academics, ‘marks’ and ‘report cards’ become your balance-sheets to see how good you can compete than others. ‘Trophies’ and ‘awards’ are benchmarks for sports. Now days, we assign ‘scores’ and ‘rankings’ like Top-10 or Top-100 lists for almost everything to ascertain the best among the rest. These lists create competition among the people or institutions who want to see themselves in.

Scarcity vs. Abundance Conundrum


Competitions are created out of the feeling of scarcity. Competitive spirit create rivals and kills friendly and cooperative spirit. Competition boost ego of achievers and leads others to depression or frustration. Competition destroys peace of mind. Culture of competition accepts the winners-take-all-mentality.

Competition is not always a zero-sum game where one’s gain is others’ loss. When there are only a few winners in a competition involving millions of people, all efforts put by others in that direction and precious resources consumed in preparation to that competition are completely wasted. I’d rather call it the “opportunity cost of competition”. In uselessly preparing for those competitions, these people and resources may have been utilised for something more constructive & valuable; saving them from the humility of losing a competition in the process.

Competition is not always healthy


Competition and rivalry among nations have created a lot of unnecessary arms and ammunition. Competition for being the first in creating and delivering new versions of gadgets like mobiles, tablets and computers have generated tons of electronic waste. Competition and capitalist economy has also lead to creation of exclusive patent rights. This exclusivity has killed the local businesses and increased the global carbon footprint in delivering goods and services in distant territories.

In an effort to achieve riches, recognition and better status; that prove us being competitive, we need to exploit precious natural resources at the quickest rate possible. This destructs our environment, ecosystem, diversity of flora and fauna and our own relationship with our Mother Earth.

We need to be more collaborative than competitive


Winning competitions is self-aggrandising. It's just all about ourselves. We may derive a momentary happiness and pride out of it but that happiness is also rooted in social conditioning of deriving our success from social benchmarking. Instead, if we live in harmony with everyone, we can easily find inner peace and happiness. Collaborative approach leads to synergy in achieving any solution to a problem (yes, two plus two do equals five). When we take into account the interest of everyone, we see the larger picture. When we work for the whole instead of just our own selves, we find our work in alignment with our spirit.

When “giving” is valued more than “taking”


Self-centred approach of achievement can never do a common good. But if our culture, values and system is designed in such a way that it promotes collaborative approach rather than self-centred approach, the whole world will be entirely different and more liveable place. We need to create a value system, where we seek our interest in fulfilling others’ interest, where we derive happiness by spreading happiness, where we earn riches by spreading riches. Can’t we create a rating system where those individuals are rated higher who have given more to others than they have received; where they put the needs of whole planet before their own needs?

When we have a psychology of taking everything from the society and the Nature, we are doomed by the feeling of scarcity. Today we have created our world full of scarcity. Scarcity creates insecurity, competition, rivalries, separation with others and extreme self-centredness.

But if we inculcate the spirit of giving, we always live in the world of abundance. Abundance creates security, satisfaction, peace, unity and happiness in us and makes us give and share the resources with the needy. Sharing and giving generates strong bonding, love and care for the others; spreads love and happiness everywhere. And there is no denying in the saying that what we give comes around.

Steem is as beautiful as Planet Earth


Steem is one example of the spirit of giving. When you give selflessly, you create strong bonds and relationships with others. What a beautiful way to create strong social bonding with complete strangers! Here we have an abundant reward pool to share with everyone ...but only if everyone shares it selflessly.

Unfortunately, our social conditioning of self-centeredness comes into play here too and people starts abusing the system. We keep abusing our resources everyday in the real world too and we bring the same trait in Steem ecosystem too.

Abuse has gained social acceptance and is invisible to most of us. Instead, some abuses like tax-evasions, hoarding piles of black-money etc. comes into the category of white-collar crime. Most of the society is very tolerant and accepting of such criminals.

We need to change that mindset. Perhaps we need to create a different system than the present capitalist era to fix it forever.

  • Do you think the Capitalism/ Communism/ Socialism or any other socio-economic system is good enough?
  • Or do we need to evolve a better system?
  • Any suggestions for designing such a system?

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Feel free to share and collaborate and have a homeless person move in with you. You might get robbed or worse though. We do need to help others more but scarcity is a reality. We can plant more fruit trees and gardens and stuff but very little in life if free and abundant. Most all goods and services would still take time and or energy to produce even if we got rid of money.

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This fear of getting robbed or something worse erupts from our insecurity and disconnectedness. Insecurity arises from the feeling of scarcity and the spirit of too much possessiveness. Unfortunately, we are all raised in a system where we are trained to live our life by competing to gain access to necessities of life. This infuses a feeling of scarcity in us.

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This is currently what happens when we have police and law and order and people have to pay but the deals are good.

I guess under anarchy we could just shoot and kill people who steal. That would save money right? (sarcasm)

Scarcity is and always has been a reality for virtually every living organism on the planet.

People only value what they earn. Thats human nature too. If there is no competition for something than people start taking that thing for granted.

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Yeah, it's because of the mindset we are accustomed to. You can find a lot of examples where collaborative team spirit has achieved better results than following a competitive system.

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Wonderful post having a meaningful information for steemians and nice lesson you conveyed for us that collaboration have an edge on self designed efforts

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Thank you for reading and feedback!

I am a big fan of competition. It is part of our nature and is part behind the motivation that keeps us pushing to become better, to grow.

That being said, there is always the question of how said competitive behaviour shows itself and in what areas it shows. For example, I am a big fan of competitions when it comes to sport. I am no fan of competitions when it comes to work and work-life.

In my perfect world, we would experience a healthy, friendly competition on targets and topics that help us become better humans.

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Glad to know about your opinions.

Personally, more than competitive sports, I love collaborative games where everybody wins and enjoys. As long as the purpose of sport is recreation and fun, it's fine, but sometimes sports between National teams of rival countries create a lot of tension and even riots at times. Ever heard about cricket matches between India and Pakistan? These are more of diplomatic symbolism and commercial opportunities than merely a sport.

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I like the idea of collaborative games. In fact, everything should be a collaborative game.

Let's make curing cancer a collaborative game. Bet that will yield better results than having medicine being an economic factor.
How about helping people who are hungry and needy? Making an collaborative effort out of trying to help them sounds better than having some bullshit charitable organization ask for donations that are being used to run the organization in the first place.

Feel like we would actually make some progress if we would actually handle topics with this kind of mindset. At least more progress than we do right now when it comes to topics like these.

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That's really a great idea! We can certainly achieve more through collaborative approach than competitive one. We only need to put our thoughts in that direction and we will come up with many brilliant ideas like yours.

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We could make it a contest!

Team America vs Team Europe, whoms collaboratives efforts cure cancer first wins. Then we take the best scientists of both teams and match them up against the scientists of some parallel universe and see whether we can do something cool about AIDS.

I sound a bit like I am making fun, but I actually believe that would lead better results that become openly available for anyone.

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Muy buena e interesante reflexión, lamentable o afortunadamente, desde la creación del mundo, la competencia existe, según la biblia, cuando el primer hombre sobre la tierra cometió el primer pecado comer de fruto del árbol prohibido, en el Jardín del Edén, fue inducido por la Primera Mujer Eva, y esta a su vez, fue influenciada por la serpiente, la cual dijo a la mujer, que comiera, que no moriría, como Dios le habia dicho, si no que, seria igual que Dios, que conocería el bien y el mal, allí entro la competencia, porque la serpiente simbolizaba al diablo y este fue destituido de la gloria de Dios por querer ser superior a su Creador. de alli que la competencia se transforma en rivalidad y esta a su vez genera frustracion, arrogancia y desestimacion. Saludos

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बाईबल में वर्णित वृतांत से भी यही स्पष्ट होता है कि प्रतियोगी मानसिकता अवांछित परिणाम लाती है। बाईबल यह नहीं कहता कि सर्प ने जो किया वह उचित था।

अतः मेरा इतना ही निवेदन है कि हमें एक ऐसी प्रणाली विकसित करने का प्रयास करना चाहिए जिससे हम अनावश्यक प्रतिद्वंदिता का शिकार होने से बच सके।

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Thanks for your attention!

Because of competition.

we manage to evolve

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We can thrive better through collaborations.

The negative externalities created by unhealthy competition is staggering. The is also pleanty of deadweight loss. Capitalism has been the best system for eliminating the deadweight loss caused by an imbalance in supply and demand but it is the worst system for creating negative externalities. I think we need to limit exorbitant salaries but people need to be rewarded for their efforts. A more progressive tax system which taxes unproductive capital and land would be best but we live in a world where labour is taxed the most because the labourers aren't the ones making the rules.

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What is a dead-weight? This biased valuation model is created by capitalism only. To me, nothing & no one is a dead weight. Everyone has some intrinsic value which is very subjective and absolutely non-quantifiable.

All these talk of unproductive capital and land comes from capitalist mindset. Nothing is unproductive and everything is valuable. To put things in perspective, we need to change our valuation system to make it inclusive as well as variable

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Dead-weight loss is an economic concept. When supply doesn't match demand there is either excess capacity or not enough. This creates dead-weight loss, it's a huge problem in a command economy and best solved by free market economics. Basically you have too much of a product and it goes to waste, such as grain rotting in a silo. Or too little such as not enough skilled workers so jobs go unfilled and production falls. I was not referring to just 'dead weight'. Everyone can find a place in society with time and supply and demand is brought into equilibrium.

Unproductive land and capital isn't just a capitalist mindset, it's a problem in all types of economies. I was referring to the fact that capital gains and dividends often get favourable taxation over labour, it's unfair and regressive to poor people who only have their labour. Corporate welfare is just as common in a socialist country were the government often grants monopolies to the capital and land owners favoring the establishment, often land isn't used to it's full potential either and pollution is rampant because the companies are owned by the state. Only in an ideal model are these problems solved but there aren't any real world examples. Humans are greedy, that's why I prefer cats.

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Okay, I get what you are referring to. IMO, we have a tendency to seek the maximum benefit out of our resources. This leads to their exploitation. To make our production efficient, we strive to create an equilibrium between demand and supply. But imho, Nature intends to offer abundance. We are actually creating artificial problems by first creating demand and then trying to fulfil it efficiently.

What if, there ain't enough "skilled" workers and they choose to use whatever skills they have elsewhere? Yes, some production will fall but let it fall! What if some land is lying "unused" or some crop is in surplus? All these parameters are arbitrary and are anthropocentric. Nothing is a "waste" in Nature.

Yes, if the world were ruled by cats, it would have been a lot better, I guess.

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Well said. Nature is definitely in harmony, economys are not.

Competition is natural, only competitive species survived the evolution.

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Do you think we'are competing with one another for our evolutionary survival? Do we really need to compete for that?

Nature has got plenty of examples of collaborative and symbiotic relationships.

In the plant world, competition exists, but symbiosis is more often the mode of exchange between plants. It is a mode that benefits all. We humans could take our inspiration from the green world to develop our models of economic evolution.

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Hmm, that is a great model to get our inspiration from. We need some way to translate it in human society.

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I think our survival as a species will depend on our ability to evolve a better way of living on this planet.

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True. But everyone has a different idea of what "better" means to him / her.

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More in harmony with the rest of the living world.

Automation can solve most of these problems, the less humans need to work, the more time we'll have to spent with others. I know it's not that simple, it's just the way I can see things now.

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Everything in Nature is automatised, we don't need to create automation. But science is leading us in that direction. I see more complications than solutions it may bring in.

Lovely article. Thanks for sharing. Following you to stay tuned..:-)

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Thank you for reading this blog! Happy to have you as a follower.

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Thank you for reading
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I'm a bot. I detect haiku.

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Well, I didn't intend to write it to be a Haiku, but you made one out of it 😊

Oh, my, I won some SBD! Thanks a bunch, it means a lot to me!

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Glad to hear that!
Keep Steeming!

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That I will, for sure!