I have recently been thinking about competitiveness and why, under certain circumstances, I find it so disturbing and unpleasant.
Is competiveness nothing else but survival of the fittest?
Why are some people or groups so much more competitive than others?
Is it normal? Is it healthy? Is it a desirable quality to encourage in young people?
An international choreographer who auditions for dancers for different companies comments that when choosing dancers he has a certain look and specific requirements in mind. You either have them or you don’t. It has nothing to do with how good you are or if you are too tall or too short it is the choreographic requirement that is what counts.
The performing arts are supposed to be one of the most competitive of fields. I do not think it has much to do with what field you are in but in many other factors that impact on individuals.
A competition is for people to participate in an event. The purpose is to find the best or most suitable candidate under review. An award of some kind is usually the outcome.
But think of some of the adjectives as applied in many cases; the competition was fierce, aggressive, cut-throat, antagonistic. Are these attitudes necessary to succeed and do competitors need to adopt those attitudes to succeed? Especially in the Arts.
We are living in a violent and volatile society and perhaps encouraging young people to work together and support each other is in the long term a better way to create a productive society.
Is competing against others not a limitation of one’s own ability to achieve? Do not confuse learning from others and watching how others acquire certain results.
I would be interested in hearing what other people think.