Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off… Franklin D. Roosevelt
All of us whether we like it or no, but have to compete from the time we are born till the time we die. Competition the word itself is malicious in nature because while competing, the simple mantra is to elevate 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 ourselves 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 skilful, more learned or competent than the others.
It is this habit of making comparisons with others that creates a background for the 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 & competition have been sown into our minds since our childhood days & hence they become more rigid with the passage of time. We need to understand that the core objective behind the 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 & 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 & 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 the society.
Some people link competition to motivation & developing an attitude towards high performance, but they fail to understand that this evil trait to defeat others which may look like a harmless thing initially, may eventually develop into a spirit of revenge, feeling of hatred or enmity, bitter jealousy, confrontation, hostile attitude, ugly outbursts or attitude of non-cooperation. Hence, it all depends upon the emotional maturity of a person whether or not he/she is affected more and more by the ambition to win by defeating others. Because this seed of evil, as it grows, take the form of a big tree with many branches; so also selfishness or the spirit to downgrade others in order to gain ascendance for the self may proliferate into so many evils or obnoxious habits. Hence, one must, try to curtail selfishness and, in this effort, give up the ambition of winning by vengeance for the applause and praise for the self.
Remember! The only competition that should matter to us is the one that takes place within our self, hence it is better to defeat one’s inner demons first and become victorious from within to be an example for others to follow.