We live in a world where comparisons are the norm.
Your performance is compared to that of your peers
You look at your bigger house and feel superior to the other
You scan another’s weight and smugly view yourself as better
You get more “likes” on your posting than I do on mine
On one hand, that comparison can spur one to greater effort and a drive to excellence.
But more than likely it can be dispiriting, demotivating, and separate us from others.
In discussing the impact of the grading system on students Ros and Ben Zander in “The Art of Possibility” write,
“competition puts a strain on friendships and too often consigns students to a solitary journey.”
Furthermore, the dark side of competition can lead to
Pride rather than humility
Contempt rather than respect
Exclusion of differences rather than diversity being leveraged
Avoidance of a challenge rather than risking a new adventure
A friend told me of a highly competitive academic institution where researchers hid their work from each other for fear that their work would be stolen. If they had celebrated each other maybe they would have realized the Spanish saying “juntos is mejor” (together is better).
Would it not be more productive, respectful, and empowering for us to choose to celebrate others?
What do we lose and what do we gain by choosing celebration?
What do you think?