OPINION: Outgrowing the need to compete

Almost everyday I witness casual bullying, gaslighting and fakeness from others and wonder how some people still don’t know it’s much cooler to be kind to the people around you. 

In my wondering I’ve realized a pattern at the root of this all: a lot of people still have not healed this unnecessary, almost-subconscious need to compete with others.

I genuinely believe we, as a species, have progressed past the need to compete. There are actually more benefits to collaboration and it honestly feels much better to be a part of a community rather than being on your own. It’s also a great sign of accountability and self-discipline in adulthood.

There’s always the “competition drives evolution” argument, but imagine how much more we can evolve if we came together. We could literally accomplish much more, in a shorter period of time, with a greater outcome. 

We’re not cavepeople anymore. This isn’t The Dark Ages. We literally have the tools, resources and wisdom needed to work together in an effective way. We can minimize unnecessary individual suffering and start actually caring about the mental health of others the way we claim we do.

From what I’ve seen, it’s always the kind-hearted people having to pay for the unwillingness of others to stop competing. They end up betrayed, in tears and confused because someone else saw them as an enemy rather than an ally. 

I believe a lot of people do this in order to protect themselves and this could have been learned in childhood. I just wished they knew that there are actually genuine people out there who aren’t always ready to watch their downfall. We need to start believing that kind people exist and start acting from a place of hope rather than fear.

Yung Pueblo, an author with Ecuadorian roots and experience in activism, writes in his book Inward that our selfishness, “creates a scenario in which only a few can succeed.”

“Having a world built on competition has created a situation in which humanity is overflowing with misery,” he states.

This relates to how there are hundreds of thousands of houseless people in the country while the top 1% continues to look out for themselves, never thinking of “the people beneath them.”

I challenge you to see the connection: If you claim to be anticapitalist, you must also question your competitive nature because competition is literally the foundation for capitalism.

Supporting another’s flame will not take away your glow. We can all stay in our own lanes while continuing to help each other, hoping we all make it to where we want to go and celebrating each other when we do. 

I think it’s important for each person to check and hold themselves accountable when seeing someone else as a competition. Where is this coming from?

Like Yung Pueblo, “I am not here to compete. I am here to grow and be free.” I’m genuinely much happier now that I’m anti-competition. I’m surrounded by kind, supportive people and have a clearer head. 

I hope more people can realize how much better it is to be anti-competition, too. 

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