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Different from empathy and sympathy compassion is the strength to be willing to try and ease someone's suffering, to help them ho...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Competition or Cooperation? The self versus society.

Competition is by its very nature selfish, the one against the many with only one left standing. Cooperation is by its nature more difficult but more powerful. Civilization and all our advances are built on it. You might say that individual geniuses competing are responsible for much of that, but without civilization allowing them the time, freedom, and resources, they could do nothing. Just take our bodies, for example. Our bodies are comprised of cells each doing their own thing, but in a cooperative effort that results in us. When our bodies compete against themselves, it's called cancer. or lupus. Competition must be kept within a cooperative framework. That's the supposed lesson of sports and warfare (which are basically the same thing). Teams are stronger than individuals. But it takes more maturity, confidence, and open-mindedness to cooperate effectively without having it imposed by a dictatorial "leader". Diversity of strengths and weakness can be harnessed to the benefit of all. As in the movie, A Beautiful Mind, when the friends stopped trying to score with the hottest girl, they all ended up with one of her friends. Life isn't a win/lose game. We all end up in the same place with no one left standing. We are here to mature and evolve mentally and emotionally by living the consequences of free will. We have risen to our place in nature by working together and building on the work of those before us. We cooperate within the group that we see as "us" and compete against the groups or individuals we see as "other". Problem is, we're reaching the point where there really is no "other", just us. The human race. Competing against ourselves can only divide and weaken us while likely destroying the very things that we are competing over. The major religions all preach cooperation, even among enemies. I've never heard of the commandment to "rise above your brethren and brag about it".