Rosa Park

DIRECTOR of DEVELOPMENT, Pink Shirt Day Panama

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Is competition good?

Competition can be seen as a good and bad aspect. It's good because it encourages others to do better and work harder.
However, competition can also be negative because it might discourage some people and stress others.

So, would you encourage or discourage competition?

  • Jun 5 2012: I think it depends on who is competing, what is the competition about and what happens to the winners and "loosers".

    We need healthy competition e.g. we need competitive market place we company compete in fairly manner.

    Wtihout competition there is little incensitve for certain people to perform well or even try. Competition also motives people and leads to great ideas allowing teams to become more cohesive.

    On other hand, too much competition that is taking away cooperation and feeling of community is probably not a good idea. Also situation where individuals could suffer substantially calls for cooperation rather than competition.

    Again, it depends.. cheers
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      Jun 6 2012: Thank you for your answer Zdenek! I completely agree. Competition should be encouraged but balanced at the same time. However, I'd like to ask you if you think it'd be a positive driving force for children, instead of adults. I ask this because dangerous motives and feelings may derive from competitions (such as jealousy, hatred, greed, etc) So, would competition be a positive or negative influence for children?
      • Jun 6 2012: Thank you Rosa. Yes it is not easy to balance when and how much to allow for competition and I agree that we need to be very careful. However I think that children of certain age (7 or 8?) can start to benefit from competition done at the right time with appropriate context.

        I think competition is and will be always part of our life for foreseeable future so we need to teach our kids how to handle it appropriately?

        Kids as well as adults should learn that healthy competition is not about who is really better because everyone is unique and capable. Rather competition allows individuals and teams to by driven by presented challenges and motivated by rewards (whether financial or otherwise).

        I think it comes down to the right attitude about competition. At the same time cooperation should be perhaps even bigger part of our lives.

        I also think we should be taught that not winning is a good way to learn from mistakes and learn from winning teams how to do things differently. That is a good way to make a progress happen. Many times winning is also luck and no one is good at everything.

        How do you see competition in schools? Do you think cooperation is all that we need?

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          Jun 7 2012: Well, in my school competition is definitely encouraged. Almost all schools around the world encourage it. However, I look around and I see some kids who are awarded and happy, and I see others who are depressed because they lost. When this competition goes on, these kids who were depressed become depressed even more and lose their confidence. Eventually, they lose their interest in that subject, and they stop trying. Ultimately, the student population is separated into those who always experience triumph and those who lost their interests.

          When I see these situation rising again and again, like a dangerous cycle, I can't help but wonder if competition is the right way to go.
      • Jun 7 2012: " Ultimately, the student population is separated into those who always experience triumph and those who lost their interests."

        Can we let everyone exceed at least in one area so that no one is "left behind" ? For example, we can create enough competitions to allow everyone to be good at something and the school system's role is to find where each student can do well?

        Another option is to create teams that are set by mixing students with different levels of abilities. Then every student should, at some point, be part of a winning team.

        I lived in communism where competition was minimal and the results were not very good. So again I think we need some degree of competition but ensure everyone has same opportunities to exceed or be part of winning at least occasionally?
      • Jun 8 2012: "Ultimately, the student population is separated into those who always experience triumph and those who lost their interests."

        I have also witnessed this cycle. I think that for children competition must be applied very carefully. When it is over emphasized the losers learn that they cannot win, and then continue to lose all through life. I think this contributes to drug use. In some areas of the United States, this has led to a reaction. Some schools to go to extremes to assure that every student wins at something, even its something ridiculous. I think that approach teaches the wrong lesson about competition, that it really does not matter. I do not know the correct balance. We must certainly teach competition, because it is natural and unavoidable in adult life.
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    Jun 7 2012: I do not think that I am hugely competitive except against my own previous results and it is a real mistake to try to motivate someone like me with competition.
  • Jun 7 2012: Encourage competition !
    If there is a competition everyone will put their hardwork to achieve better and they will not be restricted to a smaller area.I also totally disagree that it discourages people and stresses them.
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    Jun 5 2012: Without competition there is nothing to be better and to force ourselves for developing.I am not against competition.It is so usual like eating,sleeping,fighting,shouting etc.
    And besides,yes you are right.Competition could be negative to some people.Not all of the people please be careful about it.Nowadays every people should learn compete.Cause our world is wild and relentless,everyone should be stronger and powerfull.If competition made me coward, I must realize that I should be change.Life is competition and if I want to survive, I would be fearless.
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    Jun 4 2012: Competition is natural. As in all things even competition should be in moderation. Being to competative is not a good thing. As a coach I look to see if a student can rebound after a loss. These are the small things that build character or ruin lives.

    All the best. Bob
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    Jun 4 2012: I would encourage competition. I think competition does not discourage people. what discourage people in in competing is lack of confidence, therefore lack confidence has to be improved.
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    Jun 4 2012: Comeptition is natural process as well.......there is nothing which can be said absolute good or such questions can't /shouldn't be answered in simple "YES" or "NO"
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      Jun 4 2012: I agree with you Salim, according to me competition with others is not good but competition with self is really good .

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        Jun 6 2012: Bharath,
        I dont agree with you..
        Self-Competition and Competition with others both are good.
        But Self-Competition provides more motivation than Competition with Others.
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          Jun 6 2012: Chetan,
          I meant , the bench marks one sets in self competition is way higher than the benchmarks one sets while competing with others so thats the reason I decided be very specific on self competition
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    Jun 4 2012: i would encourage competition rather discourage it!!!
    competition should be seen as a positive source of learning since it provides an positive impact at the end though we lose the competition to our competitor!!