Competition LO18101

Roxanne Abbas (
Thu, 14 May 1998 07:34:21 -0500

Arbitrarily linked to LO17945 by your host...

Dear Loers,

I believe that one of the reason our views differ on the value of
competition is that we are defining the word differently. I am using
Webster's very narrow definition: "a contest between rivals". I have
sometimes referred to competition as a win/lose model. This is my term;
not Webster's. Some people seem to use the term to mean "striving to do
our best". I don't believe that this is an accurate definition. Others
have talked about competing with a belief or an issue. Winfried uses the
term to refer to "choices":

"You say, you have chosen your path. In my thinking, this means that there
were several possible paths competing for your favour and that this
competition was constructive and provided you with great power and
strength and sureness. You have a great potential in helping others with
their competitions. But this potential will stay asleep as long as you
deny this beautiful side of competition. I don't believe that choices in
life can compete. Advertisers and sales people compete to convince us to
select the choice that will line their pockets. I think we are also using
different definitions of cooperation. Webster's definition of cooperate:
"to associate with another or others for mutual, often economic, benefit.
" Some have used the term to refer to a person who is passive and has no
opinions of their own. There may be some correlation by these words have
different meanings. Some of you took exception to my examples of people
who I believed were models of cooperation. Rol said: "Actually, I know a
bit about King, and he was not a cooperative person. His values led him a
certain direction, and he was absolutely, totally uncompromising on those
values. He very definitely was in competition with the accepted status
quo of the time. Here was a man who for the first time in American
history could lead a very, very large number of people away from deeply
held convictions. His methods may have been collaborative, but this man
was highly competitive around his goals." Martin Luther King may have
competed with others for the leadership role in the Civil Rights Movement;
if so, he exhibited a competitive style, in part, to advance his cause.
However, his methods which distinguish him from most revolutionaries were
cooperative, i.e., he sought to associate with others for mutual benefit.

Best regards,


Roxanne Abbas

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>