Competition LO18184

Rol Fessenden (
Sun, 24 May 1998 22:12:44 -0400

Replying to LO18168 --


In response to one of my posts, you say,

"Rol, thanks for telling your story. Our mental models are the result of
our life experience. Those of us who have lived, or do live, in places
where survival depends on our ability to compete, will view the value of
the competitive model far differently from those of us who have not had
this experience."

I think my story was a bit different than about competition. As I have
said a number of times, competition for me has a place, but so too do
other ways of interacting with others. Survival in my story did not
depend on competition. It was more complex than that. As I said in that
post, "On the other hand becoming overly competitive was a sure route to
self-destruction, as many of my peers learned."

I think I was describing a dangerous world in which many different ways of
dealing with people were appropriate at different times, and survival
depended not solely on competition -- which was ultimately fatal, but on a
balance of different approaches. I am not placing competition at the
center of my approach to relationships, but as one of many, many models
for relating.

In your post on Ghandi, you say, "According to the author, Gandhi's
actions did not contradict the following idea. Whenever two people are in
conflict, if they are "good" people this simply means that some ideas are
in conflict, and in their conflict, these people are fighting over the
conflicting ideas. Further, Gandhi's feeling seemed to be that wherever
good people are in conflict like this-- over ideas-- there exists an
as-yet undiscovered idea which resolves the conflict. "

I agree with this, and I would call this conflict of ideas "competition".
Hurting others is not a necessary component of competition for me. On the
other hand, his notion of an "as-yet undiscovered idea which resolves the
conflict," while appealing has not always become reality.


Rol Fessenden

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