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Cooperation not Competition

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world” Mahatma Gandhi.

As I write this the Beijing Olympic Games are in full swing. Somebody wins, somebody loses. So much pressure to win it's bordering on the absurd. Secondly, Politics have gotten into what was originally just a fun time for athletes from different countries to compete in their favorite sport. For me, at least, it has raised the sad state of the world when we have to witness the pressure put on athletes to win on behalf of their country. This pressure however, manifests itself in so many areas of our lives not just in the sports arena.

I say “Sad state of the World” because this competitive element is so pervasive throughout most world cultures to-day. This is evident within the work place environment, but also in schools, when driving and other areas of our lives. I feel we have lost our perspective and find ourselves in a constant competitive environment almost daily.

Let's put it another way. Competition or competing against invokes a more negative energy, while cooperation or cooperate a more positive energy.

The greatest competition surly is with one's self – not against others. Wouldn't the world be a much happier place if we changed the word “competition” to “cooperation”? Imagine a work place environment within which we worked together for a common end, shared the financial benefits and had a little fun in the process. Sure, this concept may seem a little too Utopian given the degree of entrenchment within present day societies the “compete” element is. In voicing these ideas however, it is like planting a seed. No seed- no root – no growth.

Let me come back to sports for a moment as it is a clear example of what I am trying to get at in this writing. I remember when I was at school how much fun a hockey game could be. We never got mad at each other. We just played FOR THE FUN OF IT. Now when you watch to-day's young people playing there is increasing violence on the ice and I should add largely prompted by the parents. The simple joy of playing the game for the game's sake seems secondary and winning everything even to the degree of injuring your opponent. I am completely put off by present day NHL hockey with its violence. No longer Toronto players playing Montreal players. It's now a commercial environment in which “players” from any where are paid huge sums of money to “play”. I put “play” in quotes as from my perspective it isn't “play” any longer.

When I was growing up I admit competitive sports was never really my thing. I loved climbing trees, building huts in the woods, and sailing – I really loved sailing.

When I was at boarding school in the ‘40s our report cards for our overall performance for the term or the year always showed where we came in that class – [ ie: 1 st , 9 th or 29 th ]. You can imagine the negative affect on those at the lower level. Humiliating and certainly would have a negative effect on their self esteem.

In essence in all of this I feel we need to simplify our lives greatly. I honestly do. How much happier and relaxed we would be if we were cooperating with each other for our mutual benefit instead of the “need to be better than”.

Frankly, let me be clear. I feel humanity has lost its way. We need to let go of these ‘old' ways and attitudes for look where it's got us-fighting and killing each other across the world - and what has it achieved? More violence and hatred and on “Ad Infinitum”. I am sure most of you reading this understand very clearly what I am trying to point out.

Conditioned by this way of thinking it manifests in varying degrees in almost all cultures. That can change but it is up to us individually and collectively. As I have already said in a world that is becoming increasingly violent if we don't change to a greater cooperative attitude we will end up down the Rabbit Hole or worse.

Anyone seen Alice ?

Thank you. Michael Brine.

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