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Compete or Cooperate? Or Do Both?

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Maryam Raashed
Member since August 16, 2016
  • 3 Posts
  • Age 19

“The best way for a society to prepare its young people for leadership in government, industry, or other fields is by instilling in them a sense of cooperation, not competition.”

I look back on to the times when I was young and impotent enough to not to know that what was right and what was not. I remember I was told to be good to my fellows and I was told to be helpful and harmonious. I was told to be kind and courteous and I was told to be loving and caring. And I remember that they never mentioned to be ruthless and they never asked me to be pragmatic and to leave everyone behind. They never said that I lived in a world of cut-throat competitions where I had to convince my capabilities upon others by letting them down. Yet as I advance in the story of my life, I find that I live in a world of cut-throat competitions where I must leave everybody behind if I want to move forward because this is how it is.

As a matter of fact, the environment we live in is greatly characterized by the essence of competition. So, let’s face it and do in Rome as the Romans do. Be a competitor in a competitive environment because the idea of abandoning this assumingly negative term “competition” sounds absurd. Abandoning competition can only result into one being lagging far behind the rest. Also, I believe that competing is a healthy activity that leads to improvement, motivation, alertness, quality enhancement, consistency, persistence and long term planning. All these factors contribute to an individual’s effective and efficient performance in different spheres of life making competition a healthy and essential part of human life.

Coming towards cooperation, it is an act that is instilled in every child since him being very young and is always applauded if displayed by the child. This helps a child in develop moral values and enables him to contribute positively to the environment he lives in. Cooperation being indoctrinated at every point of a child’s growth can acquire the form of an individual’s innate instinct, if not suppressed by the test of time and life.

My take here is that basic moral values and ethics are taught to every child. A notion questioning the need of instilling cooperation or other ethical principles would only bring out superfluous results. So, Competition being a vital part of the environment and Cooperation being well taught to the children, what needs to be instilled is the spirit of “Cooperative Competition.”

To me, a skill that enables an individual to cooperate and act positively with his peers and to contribute healthily by assisting others and complying with their needs even when he is in the arena of contests and rivalries is the most significant factor shaping leadership qualities. A leader does not only have to be ambitious and forward looking. A leader has to be inclusive. He has to take all his followers together and needs to be open to criticism and question. Such traits increase a leader’s credibility and enhances his followership.

Cooperation and competition when combined together can do wonders and rises leaders like Alexander – The Great, Abraham Lincoln, Mustufa Kamal, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher who introduced various realms of cooperative competition to the world. “Noble Competition” gives rise to countries like China, Japan, Canada, Brazil and Turkey which hold the potential to lead the world.

So, it is high time for us to realize that cooperation and competition when segregated into two different blocks cannot turn out to be as effective as when amalgamated together. For optimum results, we need to bring these together and instill a sense of “cooperative competition” or “noble competition” among our youth to raise successful leaders for our government, industries and other fields.




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