I have noticed a trend in education. The trend is to take competition out of the schools. The crazy idea is, competition erodes a child’s self esteem and they don’t feel good about themselves if they lose. This ideology is, also, embraced by the new age movement. Their idea, if I understand it correctly, is competition creates the feeling of lack. There isn’t enough to go around. Sorry, educators and new-agers. I take issue with that philosophy.
Competition Is Really Not Bad
Competition is a great thing to teach children. They will run into it in the “real world”. Wouldn’t it serve the child better to teach them how to compete and feel good about themselves doing so? If we teach a child not to compete, or that competition is bad, we are handicapping them instead of giving them tools for their life’s journey.
There isn’t any way to weed out competition Even in a socialistic society there will always be people who rise to the top of the pecking order. Competition is the basis of a capitalistic society. Competition is good. Competition creates new ideas and better ways to do things. We are all reaping the rewards competition has brought to the marketplace. Would our lives have been better if there hadn’t been any competition between Microsoft and Apple? Of course not!
Could it be, we don’t want children to realize there will always be a price to pay? This isn’t logical either. Even if someone never wants to compete or work, and prefers to live a life on the government dole, there is still a price to pay. It is cloaked in the disguise of not feeling good about themselves, having a chip on their shoulder, never having financial security, and not being able to do the things for their family and themselves they want to do. They pay the biggest price of all!
Humans have always been competitive. Even cavemen competed for food and the right to procreate with the cave woman of their choice. Wouldn’t it be best to teach children how great it feels to win?
When I was in school, I wasn’t athletic. My field of competition was in music. I hated competition because it gave me a knot in my stomach and I felt sick with anticipation until it was over. I worked hard, practiced continually, and perfected my performance. I felt fabulous when it was over! What I learned, working hard had a tremendous payout at the end. I learned the self discipline to stick with something until I completed it. The rewards lie in doing a job to the best of my ability. I, also, found out, I like me best when I am a winner. These lessons have served me well in the business world.
Champions make the worst losers. They never, ever, get used to losing anything. They always strive to win. I found, in life, the biggest prizes come from paying the biggest price. When I really work hard and sacrifice, it has brought me the biggest reward. It has always built my self esteem. I know that I can, do well, whatever I focus on. My mental attitude has triumphed!
Wouldn’t our efforts be better served to teach our children good sportsmanship? Not how to lose, but how to be gracious when they win or lose. We, as a society, will advance when we can teach our children to play full out. Give the best of their ability. When we really work hard and we are really prepared, we develop the expectation of winning and success. Now, that’s a great feeling!