Monday, July 29, 2013

The Cost of Winning

Health, Recreation, & Fitness ---

IAAF World Championship
It seems that winning, having the edge, being superior has become the highest principle in our society.  There is that drive to do better than the other person, be better than the other person, know more than the other person, have more than the other person. We always seem to be measuring ourselves qualitatively or quantitatively against the other person. This seems to be the mindset not only for individuals but for groups (large or small) as well.  And it is something that gets instilled in the heads of our children from a young age. We pay lip service to the idea of having fun during competition but go crazy with delight when they win. The reality is that if winning becomes our highest principle, then every other principle will take a back seat to it. With that attitude, an individual or group will do whatever it takes, apply whatever means to win - to get the edge. In that regard, personal integrity, morality, loyalty, regard for rule, etc., become unimportant.  In competitive sports, for example, there has been a proliferation of the use of banned performance-enhancing substances by athletes. And it has become so prevalent that even those who might not be using (Usain Bolt, among others) automatically come under the suspicion of using, since “everybody is using”.  As long as winning continues to be our highest principle, we will seek to do so at all costs, and in the long-run, with deleterious consequences for our civilization as a whole.