GRE Issue Essay 110

“In most societies, competition generally has more of a negative than a positive effect.”

Competitive spirit is an absolute necessity if you wish to succeed in life. This is because today there is stiff competition to establish yourself in any field during all stages of your life. You need to be better than your classmates in order to stand out in the class. You have to do better than the other students in the standardized tests if you wish to gain admission to a reputed school or college. You have to do well in professional courses in order to be handpicked by the leading companies in your choice of career. Even after you are established in your job, you have to perform better than the other employees if you wish to go higher up in the company’s hierarchy. This competition becomes even fiercer in the business community where you have to adopt all tips and tricks for faring better than the other companies in wooing the customers. The need to surpass your competitors has become so crucial in today’s world that people are willing to go to all possible limits in order to achieve success. This has led to competition having more of a negative effect than a positive effect in today’s society.

Competitiveness has now succeeded in creating negative vibes in society in such a way that it is now difficult to extract oneself from the prevailing negativity. Consider a case where the top management of a company has to choose a suitable employee for heading one of its departments. Will the employees being considered for the post help each other by discussing how to prepare themselves for the impending interview? On the other hand, each one of them might try out unscrupulous means to ensure that the other candidates are not able to perform well at the interview. It is just not possible that one of them will help the other in preparing himself for being selected. The main culprit for this negative attitude is the competitive spirit of the employees.

The effect of such a competition would have been positive if all the employees had discussed the requirements and prepared themselves by learning from each other’s knowledge and experience. Each one of them would have learnt something new. If all the employees had the attitude that they would be happy even if their colleague got selected in exchange for learning something new from him, then it would have been a healthy competition. However, one seldom sees this form of competition in modern society as competition rarely emanates positive vibes.

All forms of sports like soccer, rugby, cricket, car racing etc. are marred by events wherein the participants of the opposing teams have intentionally hurt each other or they have resorted to unfair means for winning the game. It is rare to see a game between two teams where all the participants have played with a healthy sportsman spirit. Therefore, competition in the form of a game has become a matter of ego and pride wherein the losing party always accepts its defeat grudgingly. There have been cases where the players have even questioned the referee’s decision and misbehaved on the field. Can such games claim that the spirit of competition is positive and healthy? On the contrary, this has happened because competition spreads a negative effect through the society.

Who does not like to succeed in life? It is a known fact that success comes to the people who are able to outrun their competitors. Therefore, the people who are not willing to accept failure in life are willing to go to extreme ends to make their lives a success. This ‘killer’ attitude has led to the association of negativity with competition. People regard their competitors as their rivals and they treat them like they would treat an enemy. Therefore, it is unlikely that the effect of competition will be positive as more often than not the effect of competition has always been proved to be negative.