9 August 2011
The Downfall of Competition
Theodore Rubin, an established psychoanalyst, wrote the essay Competition and Happiness in 1980. Although it is perceived that competition benefits the participants, Rubin clearly states that competition leads to people living unhappy lives (Rubin). This holds true because Rubin provides clear-cut, convincing examples, and I have experienced similar incidents.
In his excerpt, Rubin provides effectively convincing examples to prove his point. For example, Rubin discusses the dilemma of parents seeking for self-satisfaction at the expense of their children’s sporting events. I have personally witnessed a situation such as this. One day my aunt politely invited me he son’s baseball game and promised me I would enjoy it. I vividly remember my aunt aggressively cheering for her son at his baseball game, while maintaining unrealistic expectation for him, his team, and the officials. The other parents in attendance dreaded the cut-throat environment she created. Until one day, her son quit baseball because of the embarrassment his mother put him through. A mother overreacting at her son’s baseball game is evidence of the negative effect of competition on a small scale; however, there can life scarring consequences from competition. Rubin states, “It [competition] is intimately linked to envy, jealousy, and paranoia (Rubin).” If allowed, this jealousy and envy can engrave itself between two siblings quite easily. I have witnessed my uncles not speak a word to each other for years because of their competitive nature. The older of the two was angered at the younger one for receiving better treatment from their parents. He has held a grudge for fifteen years. This type of competition destroys families; in effect, limiting my uncle’s ability to live a happy life. Although competition exists in almost every aspect of our lives, it can lead to daunting consequences. Competition forces us to...