With the Olympics upon us I have been thinking about competition. Is it part of being human; something innate or has it been cultivated? Some would argue that co-operation is the main reason we did not die on the savanna. If this is true, at what point did it become advantageous to be competitive if it has? We may have never made it to the moon were it not for competition with the Russians but how has the moon helped humankind? Simply put, is the world a better place when the Chinese throw a javelin 18 inches further than the Americans?
Competition does bring us together. We gather in arenas, fields and gymnasiums to participate in competition or witness it. Though we gather we also separate from each other. The parents from one division sit apart from those of another. Our children associate with others in white, yellow or black. Is it any wonder we see and draw lines when our skin is different as well?
We once shared with other tribes and they us. Neither knew when the need would strike. In an age when countries cry out for relief from oppression and hunger, we gather and watch elite athletes riding horses over fences. I’m not saying we should butcher the horse and feed the hungry but if it was my horse and you were my starving neighbour what does it say about me if I don’t?
No doubt competition arose in times of abundance as it continues today. Hunters honed their skills which were entertaining and invaluable during the hunt. If this is where competition was born why did our ignorant ancestors have enough sense to see everyone was fed? Would the hunter have the esteem of the tribe if they shot at targets while the village sat starving?
I wont get into the dollars that go into each athlete and each medal but we are trading huge currency for trinkets and national pride. I may be solitary in my thoughts but I would find more pride in my country if it reached further into opposing nations and stood not on a podium but on the back of a truck tossing bags of rice. Couldn’t we keep the competitive spirit alive if we had elite athletes attempting to throw that bag of rice the furthest? We could set up hurdles between villages and if you find the idea of eating horse distasteful we could fly that same horse not to a stadium in England but to a country where it could pull a cart with something people actually need. Enjoy the Olympics and don’t forget to share a Coke.
In the spirit of competition I will be checking out the comments section for the most creative and original sport we can come up with for Third World Olympics.
Hi Brett, I agree with you although have to admit that the chinese athlete who threw the javelin the extra 18 inches no doubt thinks that the world is a better place for him/her. But looking at the whole thing on a wider scale then it seems very much a show of money and I have to wonder at what cost? As for these third world Olympics I’m thinking of some kind of sport that distributes mental health care. Possibility? GIve me time and I’ll come up with details. Cate 🙂
I think the Olympics on their own are fine I am just disturbed by the contrast when you look at the world on a truly global stage.
This “Third World Olympics” reminded me of a few things I learned about the Congo last year. A man has opened up a boxing gym for young women to come and make something of themselves and a former beauty queen from the Congo is teaching women with HIV/AIDS how to model so they can have their own pageant and spread awareness about the disease and show that they are all beautiful women. i’d rather we televise those than the Olympics actually.
There would be many who prefer the Olympics but your events would likely leave a lasting impression for viewers. If we don’t replace the Olympics I’m sure we can come up with better reality shows like yours.
Ugh reality shows…they make me sad! I used to watch a lot of them but stopped as I got older.
It was Olympic theme day at work today. It was great to hear that a lot of the young kids are watching the Olympics and supporting their country!
I have enough reality of my own to deal with without watching other peoples.