Competition Healthy or Not? 2022 Olympics
We are in the midst of the 2022 Winter Olympics being held in Beijing. The topic of competition is a complex one, and since we all experience competition in our lives, it is an important one to thoroughly understand to live free.
I’ll start with a pertinent statement: When competition is understood, it is beneficial to all. When it is not understood, it can breed greed, corruption, hatred, and anger. With the intensity that competition is, it is vital to understand it and its function.
I’ll explain it in story form. Once upon a time, there were two colleges who were involved with an annual competition for a robotics trophy, award, honor, and title. These two colleges were always at the top of the competition year after year. During the school year, the professors and students worked hard to create, outthink the other school, and bring forth something new that would, for sure, win the competition in the current year. It became a topic of school pride for the entire school, which the administrators took notice and often had polite, but pointed conversations with the professors about the importance of winning the competition every year.
To assist the winning process, the administration offered nearly unending financial options to ensure yearly success. The administration also noted the exciting past outcomes from the competition which included not only recognition, but also financial gain through the created technology with the most recent robot that can assist with dementia, blind, and burn patients live independent lives.
In this story, it is all focused upon pulling all resources of support toward the goals of creation. In this way, competition is at its best. It creates opportunity for discovery. It creates avenues for new thought. It creates the ability to produce ideas never before thought possible. It creates synergy among students, professors, administration, and community. Many people benefit. Students place their school’s participation on resumes for their future careers. Professors are awarded financial bonuses. Administration promises and delivers more financial backing to the sciences at the college. More people live independently than ever thought was possible.
Of course, this story can sour at any point when competition is misunderstood. It teetered at the edge of negativity with the pressure from administration. Truth is that when there is a bit of urgency or need, great things can be created from that urgency or need. Certainly in cave times, the need and urgency for protection created safe homes. The need and urgency for food created hunting techniques. Then, the need and urgency for non-nomadic life created farming techniques. In the story of the two colleges, there is a need and urgency to keep the winning streak going for financial gain, honor, and notoriety.
But, spying on the other school maliciously, jeopardizing their creation efforts, sabotaging their plans, defacing the school on social outlets, or bribing the judges are all what gives competition a bad name. In and of itself, competition is what strives us humans to be more than we ever thought we could be as displayed on a global scale with the Olympics every two years. Football records keep getting made and broken. The apparent limitations of our world keep getting pushed back as we humans do more than ever thought possible as in the current interest of space flight.
If someone performs an amazing feat such as high jump, it spurs on, incites, inspires, “lights the fire underneath” when another’s Soul whispers, “I can do that, too! In fact, I can jump higher!” In this very moment, what was not even a thought is now creation. Yes, competition is a wonderful thing for all of us when it is understood so that we can live free. By this, I mean we can create solutions in our own lives in the spirit of competition because what once was believed to be a stoppage, road block, or hinderance becomes the doable challenge. Had the catalyst of competition not burned a fiery start within someone, newness would not have been born. Achievement may lie idle awaiting the push to be discovered or completed. It is living free when we use the exterior world’s stimuli, often in the form of competition, to inspire us to personal greatness.