Monday, January 23, 2012

To Compete...or not to compete....

I wasn't in class on Thursday on account of getting my teeth chipped, pried and pulled from my skull (crossing my fingers that everything is healing well) so I wasn't able to get the legist of the assignment 100% but I'll try my best with the description on Oncourse; something that people are often either want to ignore or something that people always want to bring to the forefront since they find it to be a very important faction of their lives. For the most part, it seems as kids we're always told the same mantra that it doesn't matter how you win or lose, but its how you compete that determines who is the winner...but thinking this, how does the way one compete determine the outcome of certain things?

In our lives, we are always competing, if not for the top spot on something then for something smaller; perhaps to be the first to get that good seat in the theater so you won't be blocked by the asshat who is still wearing his ballcap and blocking your view. In the workforce, people often compete by attempting to be as productive as they can in order to gain a better position. Groups and teams compete against each other for various things but having said all of this, is competition important? Does it play a role in team building?

I would have to give a rather large YES to both but I would also like to add in the notion that while competition is good, one thing we shouldn't do is let it get to our heads. What's that saying; too much of a good thing leads to a bad thing? Think of it like that. Competition in itself is not a bad thing and can be used as a tool to do positive things but when it leads to obsession, people can get clouded and forget the main goal. When this happens, the need and want to win at all cost seems to rear it ugly head and begins to wear away at the notion of simply striving to make yourself BETTER. How can you better yourself when your need and want for competition gets to the points where it becomes destructive and detrimental to not only yourself but those you surround yourself with.

Perhaps this is the egotism that comes into play that makes the entire notion of 'competition' bring bad thoughts into people's heads. Some people want to avoid competition because they might feel its an unfair way of judging someone against another, as if showing off what they can or can't do would somehow be destructive. If competition was being used in a NEGATIVE way, it can be viewed that way but again, that is if the actions in question are being used as a vehicle to just show off, not as something that actually helps people learn, experience, and grow.

Competition in team building isn't a bad thing either, so long as its not used as a melee and turns people against each other. Remember that scene in 'The Dark Knight' where the Joker tells the gang members that there is only room for ONE person on his team and he gives them that broken pool cue as a means of 'deciding' who was going to be on the team; yeah, let's use that as a melee and BAD example of competition.

Of course, if that were being used an any real life example, I'm pretty sure someone would be arrested.


Honestly, I find that competition is a good thing but there are two sides of it that seem to get on everyone's nerves;

First there is the Condescending Competition- The type of competition where you're constantly reminded that you shouldn't do your best since that would be unfair to someone else....but that means they also can't do their best since that means they may do better than you so EVERYONE has to perform at a level that the person in charge thinks would be the least offensive....but in the end, it forces everyone to stay at a level below their capability, simply to prevent anyone for feeling bad when in truth, that might not even be an issues, especially if its a situation isn't that bad and everyone isn't going to wail on each other no matter who wins.

Second, there is the Melee Competition- The type of competition where everyone is basically an asshole to each other in order to win. This is seen in rowdy sports events, schools where the teachers don't give a fuck and right now, its happening with me on ebay because I'm trying to win a bid on something I want and I'm sick of finding the same thing for 100 bucks and the only offer that has it for 45 has some ASSHOLE WHO KEEPS GOING UP A DOLLAR NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I BID!

I should keep the ebay stuff out of this.

So in the end, competition is an animal we all must face but it is one that we should not avoid nor be afraid of. The best thing we should do is more or less know how to deal with it when put in a situation where the competition is tough, not simply because of our own abilities, but because of how the situation is put before us whether its because we're forced to stunt ourselves for some reason or because the competition grows unruly because of people care only about getting ahead.

Competition can be such a strange animal.

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