I don’t like to compete, especially for something that has less value than another human being (read: money, attention, etc.). I figured if someone wants to win so badly, they can have the prize.
I began competing in the dance world when I was 6. My parents protected my sanity by always asking, “are you enjoying yourself?” I enjoyed the learning, but the battle of competition was just weird.
The idea of sharing authentic joy was so ingrained in my being that I remember sitting in the balcony at competition with my friends trying to figure out if fellow competitors were smiling authentically. Were they really were enjoying themselves? Or were they just putting on an act?
The word compete has been used in two ways over the course of its history. One has to do with a coming together in the pursuit of a common end. The other literally means to set in rivalry. I think it’s interesting that today, we live in a fundamentally competitive culture that recognizes a spectrum from friendly competition to rivalry when the truth of the spectrum is more likely cooperation to competition.