As Americans, we are constantly sold and most believe in the concept of competition. “We’re Number One!”
We’re not number one in much. Besides, who is “we”? Does that mean we all benefit or profit from being number one? Rarely if ever.
We are sold sports to distract us. Because that’s all sports are for, aside from gambling. If you gamble, I can understand you having an emotional stake in one team/horse/whatever being first. Otherwise, what difference does it make in your life?
I can understand the camaraderie of cheering for your favorite team together. However, people can cheer and gain cohesion through far more constructive, community-beneficial ways than sports.
However, it’s not only sports on which we are sold competition. We are sold a mindset of competition about basically everything. Being the best salesperson. Being the most productive at our jobs to make profits for corporate masters. Being the tallest, most muscular, strongest, most attractive, having the most offers for dates, having the most money/possessions, most expensive vehicle, largest (most gas guzzling) vehicle, who can drink the most alcohol, drive the fastest, take the biggest risks and survive..
Some competition is good, I agree. When it actually offers benefit to yourself and your family/community/country. That’s not how competition is presented, though. It is presented as the greatest hording of resources by the fewest individuals, superficial non-achievements, often damaging to oneself or others. As a society, we place little value on academics, knowledge, humanism, compassion, sharing, peace, honesty.
I’m not necessarily against sports per se. I have no interest in them, personally. I find them frivolous, artificial and wasteful. I detest the many billions spent on sports annually in this country while schools, teachers, students struggle for resources. While children go hungry. While the sick lack medical care. While people die of exposure from homelessness.
Keep cheering for “your” team.
Then we have competition in politics. People pay no attention to policies. They vote against one name and for another name. Mention a third party like the Green Party having much better policies and an ethical, effective, well-constructed platform and you hear words like, “Well, I won’t vote for them because they can’t win.”