Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thoughts on Competition

For the benefit of some people concerned or who feel that they are concerned, here are my thoughts on the word "competition." (To Che, Rye and Carlo, i hope you're reading)

COMPETITION, as a noun, is the act of competition. Sociologically speaking, competition is a rivalry between two persons or groups for an object desired in common, usually resulting to a victor and a loser, but not necessarily involving the destruction of the latter. (Dictionary.reference.com)

It's funny how we always seem to associate the word competition in almost every situation that we feel that we are competing. Usually competition happens when one feels threatened over something or ideally someone wants to grapple for something or for someone's favor. Competition can be used to vie for various objects. For person/s. For a price. For a game. For a career or For a cause (no matter how lewd it is). But the word competition should not be used lightly. There are complexities and certain amount of respect involved. A certain defensive act on a threat may not be exactly seen as competition. Before entering or engaging in a competition, there are certain rules to follow.


THOUGHT # 1: COMPETITION has RULES

Relive your elementary years. School curriculum allow and formulate avenues for competition. Spelling Bees. Cheering competitions. Class competitions. Each competition, in a right perspective, has rules to follow. These rules involve certain qualifications and maintenance of a proper playing field. In whatever tournament or even in the Olympics, they are subject to such restrictions. No one can simply, out of the blue, present himself or herself to compete in the Olympics. One cannot compete against a person who is one's superior in the office. Also, one cannot exhibit other methods of competing beyond his/her scope of work or abilities. So, if you feel that you are engaging in a competition or plan to initiate one, consider if there are rules to be aware of. As stupid as thinking, "if there is a real reason to compete," would be helpful, then rules will gradually be determined. Otherwise if understanding and presence of rules are absent then it is not a form of competition. It is a threat, a war and an aggressive action, not warranting for respect and recognition.

THOUGHT # 2: COMPETITION has an OBJECT and has PLAYERS

Once the concept of competitions and rules are observed, before engaging in one, a competition first requires an object and players who would want to vie for that object, whether it may be a position in the company, a million dollar price or for a person's affections. Without an object, there wouldn't be anything to compete for, and if there are no "willing" players, then there's no one to compete it with.

The object at hand should ideally be free from any players' grasp. It should be put as an object to compete for. A girl, vied for three particular suitors, should never be attached either to one of the suitors. Otherwise that's what you would call "sulutan" and not a competition. A position in a company that has been posted (that's where rules come in) or have been announced may still have the person in position present, yet he or she is not part of the competition. In most cases, the post is already left vacant for the taking. Other form of competitions is wherein the object is competed seasonally or periodically. Champions of last season's NBA games gives up the cup or the championship, which is again "up for grabs" in the present season. Basically, the object should not be attached in any other way to avoid any unnecessary complications; and is available for the taking.

The players on the other hand, ideally, should have a consensus. They must be aware that they are engaging in a competition to properly observe whatever flexibility of rules. The perfect example for this is those of technical competitions like sporting events and other contests. But most often than not, competitions do not happen in formal venues, yet the players are aware of the situation. Two employees competing for the position should be aware of the game and methodologies to usurp the other. In doing so, one is aware of his/her position, his angle in the game, his opponent's qualifications and moves. Knowing ones position acts as a barometer or an immediate report to achieve success. Keep in observation that they may not necessarily be equal (skills/placing), but certainly are qualified. Also, if the other player is not in any way interested in competing; or the player is already in the position of not competing, the other player's offensive actions may be done out of threats and aggression. It is a subtle way of declaring war and defensive measures.


THOUGHT # 3: COMPETITION should be HEALTHY

Even in schools competitions are encouraged in certain events because it promotes creativity and fuels the drive to achieve a certain goal or object. Competition is there to promote varieties and to develop interactive skills often used in the real world. A Healthy competition is a competition that has rules and has a clear and attainable goal. Also, the goal must be within the morals of culture or society. A competition for something bland, immoral and for an unclear, twisted vision would only lessen the directions and focus of the players for the real goal. The main tendency of it is that the players will be consumed by returns, break the rules and by extremes tend to hurt or inflict danger to the other.

If the basis of competition is already foul to begin with, then the actions and the methods used to win in that particular competition are lewd. It would only consume the players' time to think of harmful and discouraged ways to win. It wouldn't be healthy anymore and the spirit of competition is thwarted by greed and envy.

THOUGHT # 4: COMPETITION against CHEATING

This is very elementary. Competition has a nature of respect and rules and therefore the players must understand that they should abide by that. Cheating in any form before, within or after the competition thwarts respect and the rules. The player loses its integrity and reputation; and makes the competition irrelevant and true victory unachieved.

THOUGHT # 5: COMPETITION has an END


Every competition, even if its informal, formal or seasonal, has a beginning and an end. The competition should not cloud ones life. One tendency is that it might progress without control thus making players consumed by their own actions. Every level, every part and every goal should be attained at a given point in time and once attained, it should never be recycled for the sake of clarification and appeasement. In doing so, the competition is taken to extreme, makes life unhealthy and complicated.


So before one could proclaim victory over anything, one must assess if ever there is a competition to begin with. Based on the examples stated above, a competition is not the same as a war or a threat. Defense against threats, offense in war and competitions may have different playing fields and may have different concepts, but one similar thought, THAT THEY HAVE A VICTOR AND A LOSER. Yet what differs competition from the rest is that it should be healthy, with rules and with integrity or respect, otherwise it's a form of war or threat. The opponent who initiates war or threats may or may not achieve the goal, but definitely and automatically loses integrity and respect.


2 comments:

Carlo said...

Well said! In the first place what are you competing ba?

opinionatedbanana said...

Competing? Well, I'm a very competitive person, but I do make sure I stick to these rules of mine. Some people I know, might have the illusion of engaging in a competition when in truth they only do is threaten. I hope this entry helps them though. Hehe :p