Competition LO18131

Rol Fessenden (
Tue, 19 May 1998 20:59:24 -0400

Replying to LO18086 --

Doc, you recently wrote,

> If the essence of life is truly "danger," (as I perceive it to be), then
> honing my competitive and cooperative skills and being prepared to use
> whichever of these help me maintain my balance is the choice I make. As
> with all things, being too competitive or too cooperative is
> dysfunctional
> and will, eventually, cause my fall from the precipices.

It touched something deep within me, and my youth came flooding back.
>From 12-22 years old I lived in various environments, many of them
dangerous to the extreme. Why I survived and my friends did not -- aside
from what we now call survivor's guilt -- is a matter of mystery to me.
Being pretty unreligious, I simply attribute it to some chance, and some
personal characteristics, but not primarily a product of my own efforts.

Interestingly, being perceived to be non-competitive was a sure route to
persecution and probable destruction. On the other hand becoming overy
competitive was a sure route to self-destruction, as many of my peers
learned. They put their lives on the line several times a week, and the
law of averages does not favor that kind of fool. There was a fine line
around competitiveness, and survival was without question partly a matter
of staying near the line.

That, of course, was an extreme form of life-style that no one would
choose willingly to live. However, like the rest of life, the lessons may
be similar. Perhaps where the dangers are less, the fine line is broader.
Who knows?

It is always interesting to note what triggers learnings and memories.
Thanks, Doc, for some worthwhile if troubling memories.


Rol Fessenden

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