While many coaches and spiritual teachers promote the concept and practice of self-love, we still encounter self-annihilation in the form of competition. Some people still believe that competition is healthy and helps us to become our best selves. However, in my own life I have found that the concept of winners and losers destroys self-worth making self-love virtually impossible to embody.
Competition belongs to a patriarchal system. It is a divisive practice that pits people against each other causing dualism, instead of Unity Consciousness. It says that in order for one person to win and experience glory another person must lose and experience shame and or humiliation. Competition tells us that there are good and bad losers. It reflects on stories of underdogs (losers) who become winners, therefore, humbling another person (usually an arrogant behemoth) or a bully who is merely a victim of a wounded society.
I scoffed years ago when I found out that parents and teachers were removing the competition model from schools so that every kid could feel like a winner. But that was a former version of myself who didn’t yet see the damage caused to us by the competitive model. Yet, I myself bore wounds from this model by living through an era where the Bell Curve was the standard with education.
Now, if any of you are old enough to remember the Bell Curve model, you’ll note that it gave an unfair advantage to middle class and upper class white children who were brought up in non-abusive or non-dysfunctional homes. And if a child did not have those advantages or were raised by immigrate parents who didn’t speak the dominant language of that society, they found themselves at the low end of the curve. Let’s not even get into children such as myself who also struggled with dyslexia who couldn’t compete or play the games (since we didn’t grasp the rules) and just ended up suffering from depression or with some kids low self-worth and addiction later in life.
Even as an adult, I have personally witnessed what competitions have done to my own sense of worth. I feel judged even if it’s just my work that goes through a jury process. And the thing about some competitions is that they are arbitrary and often subjective. And why are we allowing others to judge our work in the first place? And yet, I have learned this lesson the hard way with wear and tear on my soul.
On a grander scale, competition leads to the mayhem and madness of presidential elections, which in the US is fueled by unfair advantages doled out by bullies and ruthless narcissists who will do whatever it takes to win. There is a difference between politicians and political leaders with the first type in it for themselves with lying and cheating acting as the norm. Whereas, a political leader understands true democracy and cooperation.
In this new age, the cooperative model has returned to replace the competitive one. I leave you with movie trailers who argue the case for the cooperative model. If we want to create a healthier planet for future generations and live in peace during our time, we must examine competition and the dangerous effects it has on our well-being, and the destruction in wreaks on the planet.
We’ll probably always have competitive sports, but I’m talking more about day to day life where we compete for food, water, shelter and employment. If we heal ourselves of fears, lack and limitations, we transform the competitive model into the cooperative model. Let’s leave competition in the sports arena and stop competing with our neighbors; bothers and sisters. Divided we fall, united we stand.
Trailer for Occupy Love: