Competition LO18113

Roxanne Abbas (
Sun, 17 May 1998 12:17:01 -0500

Replying to LO18029 --

Dale said:

"In some situations, comparative data helps me to know how well I'm doing.
In other situations, comparative data seems less useful to me. For
example, how happy I am. Or how much I enjoy playing my guitar along with
a Wallflowers album turned up way too loud. Or whether I feel that my
work contributes to other people's happiness."

Dale's message caused me to think about the kinds of situations where
comparative data is more of less useful. It occurred to me that for the
really important matters in life, comparative data is irrelevant. Dale
could enter a competition to learn how his guitar playing skill ranks
among others; but I suspect that he's not terribly interested in someone
else's opinion of his skill. It may be important to him that he's getting
better at playing and it's certainly important to him that he enjoys

One of the grandest competitions we have as a society is the Olympics.
The announcers tell us that winning these games brings great honor to the
athlete's country. I can't see how the fact that the most gold medallists
come from my country is a cause for pride or honor. And I can't see
anything very important about being able to run fast or jump high unless
you're being chased by a vicious animal. Someone in the group said that
he believed that life was about avoiding danger. If this is our view of
life, then I guess that competition, and running fast, or developing other
battle skills, are important.


Roxanne Abbas

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