It wasn’t like now, recently, I started to ask myself this question, it didn’t just hit me. Many times I was thinking about this, but just recently I saw an actual example, that made me realize that it’s a good subject for discussion. And, yes, it wasn’t just me that thought about this, many other people talked about the effects of the competition, others even wrote full papers and dissertations on this subject.
We see competition in everything that we do during a normal day in our lives. Starting with the same race at the bathroom in the morning, continuing with the “who’s going to be the first at the street light” or at work, and ending with that special person whom you try your best to impress. This is not just an homo sapiens thing, there is no point to be arrogant about this, its relevant for all of the species on the planet.
So the case that got me thinking this time about this, and the effect that has on subjects (human or otherwise) was about two acquaintances of mine – two partners of a restaurant business. They’ve been together for over 7 years, opened two successful restaurants, and after all this time decided to go separate ways. Now, the time for changes came. Its like a competition: who gets the most of the regular clients, who proves that is the best and it is better at this, than the other… I know that its kind of harsh, and this is what competition is all about, but they act like little kids that are trying to prove they are good, so the mommy will give the candy to one of them.
What is wrong in doing changes? Nothing! Its just kind of fake… up until now, there were no changes, and even if there were any requests for that, it wasn’t possible or somehow it was way too expensive. Now, after they split, everything is possible. Could this be just because now they have a clear task: you’ve got this, I’ve got that, and each one makes its one decisions and is the leader of a specific part of the business?
Is competition hand in hand with leadership? Or without one, the other can’t exist? According to social darwinists, the competition has its main goal or effect the determination of the best one from the group (politically, economically, biologically, or otherwise).
So, if that is true, we do need competition in order to see which one is the leader. That’s how we came in this world, that’s in our blood. We evolved to “homo sapiens” through competition and leadership: we competed for our territory, for our food, for our mates. Even our reproductive cells compete between them. The only thing we do not have in our blood is the ability to stay human in a competition. Coming back to my case that brought me here, I realized why Gandhi was not to in to competition. He speaks more of egoistic competition, that can lead to violence, conflict or destructiveness. Only one of the managers mentioned before saw this competitiveness more through its ego. Yes, he is trying to do best, and to prove that his leadership is the one of a true nature, but the way I see it, its just someone a little frustrated that things didn’t go his way, and now he needs to prove himself more for its ego not for the best of his business. This brings me to my opening quote: “competition brings the best in our business/products, but
the worse in people”.
Yes, competition is something that we have to deal with everyday! Its not just necessary, its in our blood – we cant run from it! Most of the time it’s a good thing, because it brings the best in what we do, and in what we are, but we do need to be very careful not to mix it with egoism, jealousy, and hate, otherwise we become worse than animals. For example: two lions will fight for their territory, for their food, for their mates, but they will never, at one point, go in a different heard to fight, just because they feel like it. And that is why some people, that see competitiveness through their ego are worse than any other animal on the planet.