Monday, April 1, 2013

Seeing the Competition in Everything - Guest Post!

The following is a posting for The World Transformation Movement.

Every time my older sister and I get together, there is this unspoken competition. It could be over something as trivial as who is dressed more stylishly or who is the better daughter- no matter the issue, it turns into a competition. Now I don’t normally like to think of myself as a competitive person, but sometimes I just want to be the best at what I do! Is that so wrong?

Humans have been competitive in nature for as long as we can remember. When you think about it, it’s really the driving force behind almost everything we do. Biologists like Richard Dawkins credit competition for the adaptation of our species. Charles Darwin embraced it as ‘survival of the fittest.’ This constant race or struggle for improvement and advancement.

I notice it in all aspects of my life, whether it’s trying to move up and get promoted at work, or even choosing what to wear in the morning so that I can look my best. We compete with our friends, our coworkers and family members- even with ourselves!

I wonder, when does our constant need for competition get too aggressive? Gandhi spoke of egoistic competition in society, maintaining that our competitive nature can only lead to violence, destructiveness and discord. While Social Darwinists may excuse this behavior as our natural animal instincts, Biologist Jeremy Griffith maintains that “We humans suffer from a consciousness-derived, psychological human condition, not an instinct-derived, stimulus-and-response-driven animal condition.”

Whatever the excuses we make for ourselves, I believe competition isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes it’s the little push we need to work harder and get that raise at work, or run an extra mile at the gym. Because of course, who doesn’t like winning or being the best at what they do? It feels great, admit it. Either way, it’s always a good idea to keep our competitive sides in check sometimes.

(The opinions expressed here are not my own. They are those of the guest author. The post was provided to me through Moms with Voices Media Network.)

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