Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Competition: Post Your Own Score

Why do we compete? In many ways it’s the nature of the beast, part of the human condition. There’s an aspect of competition inherent in just surviving the toils of everyday life, those zero-sum competitions that are unavoidable and require that you try to win. Or roll over, but I can’t imagine that too very many of us here are in that habit.

What I’m more interested in is the competitions we volunteer for, and beyond that how we choose to handle both those competitions and ourselves while competing. Do you compete as a vehicle for self-evaluation? Self-improvement? To rank yourself relative to a peer group? What metric do you use in any of these? Is it effort or progress, or is it comparison with some external marker? No answers here, really, just a gentle prod to think about these questions before committing to the competition.

It’s instructive to observe someone competing, especially if that someone is you and you are able to be a detached observer either during or after the fact. I grew up in a golfing family, and in many ways I learned about how a man is supposed to carry himself by being a caddy and getting an up close view of men competing. Golf is a pretty cool vehicle for this. You call penalties on yourself. Your next shot is played from whatever clusterfluck you created with your previous shot. There is a well-established and time-honored etiquette meant to be followed win, lose, or draw. You learn a lot about a man or a woman by watching them compete on a golf course.

Why do you compete? Only you know the answer, and the rest of us can only know if you should choose to share that with us. How you compete is entirely different. Each and every one of us who is witness to that has a brief and telling insight into who you are when we watch you in the game. Even when no one else is watching the insight is still there for you if you are willing to watch. Even when you are alone the measure is till taken in some cosmic way, for in any competition you will still know how you played. In life or in the game, with or without a judge, you always know if the rep was good, if your ball moved or not.

Your measure is taken by how you post your score.

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