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Rosa Park

DIRECTOR of DEVELOPMENT, Pink Shirt Day Panama

TEDCRED 500+

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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?

Topics: competition
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  • 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?

        cheers
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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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