Competition and Happiness

The author of the passage claims that competition can have bad consequences for people, since they can forget about their true intentions and focus on trying to achieve something that is not actually necessary for them. Bad feelings can arise which will eventually distract people from what can really lead them to happiness. The author also expresses his anxiety about the fact that people cannot make themselves work without competition and provides an example of successful implication of a non-competitive educational pattern. In addition, he states that a need to compete is not determined genetically and that it is a human invention. It can be inferred that we can perfectly do without rivalry

However, I cannot agree with Mr. Rubin for several reasons. I believe that in order to achieve our aims faster we do have to compete with someone. It is not a question of presence or absence of competition; it is more about person’s self-control skills. The author describes the situation when people impose artificial limitation as something bad. I am sure that competition and limitations raise efficiency and allow people to work out the solution of the problem during the shorter period of time. Parkinson’s laws states that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. It means that in case of limitations and competition being absent, people will just waste time solving the problems which do not require that many efforts from them.

I cannot as well agree with the author’s point that competition cause only bad feelings. If we compete with somebody, it means that we want to become better than they..We have to develop our certain characteristics in order to be able to outrank our rivals. Even if the aim of the competition is not achieved, the efforts spent in the process are not wasted.

The author provides an example of a medical school which I find a really ineffectual for several reasons. He says that the absence of grading curve is a good idea, since students’ achievements are not evaluated relative to each other. I believe that since the medical school is intended to teach students how to treat people, the question of GPA is insignificant in this case. No matter what grades are, if a person is a skilled professional.  

The example of a medical school described by the author does not seem a good example for imitation to me. My friend’s experience shows the opposite side of non-competitive educational system. She was lucky to study in a very friendly atmosphere. Students in her class were lazy and cooperative, so they decided to divide all the tasks and exam questions they received. It was more than convenient for every one of them, since they didn’t have to study a lot. They showed excellent performances at all subjects, their grades were above average, but when it came to finals which were intended to evaluate knowledge of each person individually, the students appeared not to be ready to prove their grades.

The reason was quite simple: each of the students knew well only the material which he prepared for the class; the rest was enigmatic to them. Had they studied on the competitive basis, the results would have been different. Each student would have studied all the material and, therefore, the state of the art of each of them would have been better. This story shows advantages of a competitive environment, namely, a direct connection between a person’s need of self-growth and his or her necessity to compete. The better we want to become the more we have to achieve by ourselves and the motivation that whips us the most is rivalry.

When reading the author’s speculations on whether competition is an innate feature of a person or whether he or she inherits it from parents, it is useful to stop for a moment and to try to evaluate the role of competition in nature in a whole. Is rivalry among animals and plants inevitable for evolution? That question began worrying me when I started writing this essay. Biologists’ opinions vary. They say evolution is impossible without competition and at the same time they suggest that competition only appears in case of lack of certain resources and is, thus, not present when everything is fine.

I thought everything over and came to a conclusion that contemporary populous world does not leave people alternatives about whether to compete or not. The resources we need are scarce. Every individual may aspire to reach his own aim, to earn a lot of money or to marry a prince charming. Unfortunately, the reality is that there is not enough money or princes to make everyone happy. The same can be applied to everything happening in our world in a whole and I have an interesting story which can illustrate the need to compete.

One of my father’s friends, say Jack, once got impressed by a book about competition in natural environments. The book claimed that all the agricultural works humans carry out are vain, since plants and animals do not compete with each other in the wild. Anthropomorphic interference was announced to be the reason why competition among animals or plants appeared in the first place. An example was given quite a trustworthy on the first glance, including comparison of gardens and farms to forests and fields. Growing something in the first ones requires spending a lot of efforts to follow the plow, to fertilize and to weed out. On the other hand, there is no competition in the natural environments. The book offered to try to make everything grow following the natural pattern, namely, without trying to intervene and to get in the way of natural processes.

This credulous man was impressed by such an example and decided to make use of the author’s experience. As it could be expected, my father’s friend’s experience was not as successful as the one he decided to tap. Although the crops grown were of really good quality, the efficiency of this method in the whole was not enough to provide the necessary amount of the crops. The percentage ratio of the crops he has grown to the weed has grown itself was so insignificant that Jack eventually had to buy everything from the shops.

Jack’s experience can show one that even if competition may not be necessary in simple life situations and that nature can perfectly develop without it, the solutions which nature proposes may not satisfy people. Therefore, nowadays in order to achieve something we inevitably need to compete. Had he lived in a perfect world where he could have grown his crops on a land of any plot area he wished, he could have been able to grow as many cultivated plants as he wished without making them compete with weedage. However, the truth with land is as sad as with money: no one can get enough of both.

Mike, a good friend of mine, is a university professor. He had always been interested in the field but not much enough to conduct his own research. He lived quite happily, received his payments and was sure that his financial future was secure. However, due to lack of budget, his university had to change its financial policy and cut salaries to those members of the staff who were not engaged in scientific activities. Getting a money grant for his own research appeared to be a very challenging process for Mike, since it was really competitive. Mike did his best to get this money and after getting them he successfully completed his research. Thus, scientific circles got a new member, whose impact in science is evaluated as significant. Mike could have remained an ordinary lecturer, but the moment of competition literary changed his life. Mike’s story shows us how competition can give a boost to a person and make him or her see things differently and eventually bring to success.

I believe that we should acknowledge the important role that competition plays in our lives and give it a credit for at least a couple of our achievements. Entering a good university, finding an interesting well-paid job, marrying a beautiful wife; all of those are results of competition with other prospective students, applicants or wife’s ex-lovers. People do their best to get what they want and in the end they become better.

Competition naturally leads to progress. Without a will to excel someone’s achievements, a person will not show the necessary aspiration and tenacity in reaching his or her aims. This desire may become a source of additional motivation when all the others are exhausted. People should aspire to become better and it is great when they can find someone who will set a standard for them. There is nothing bad in competition itself. It only depends on the intelligence of particular people and their ability to restrict themselves, whether or not will they run to extremes and let destroying feelings, like envy and jealousy, govern them.

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