April 21, 2014

Competition or cooperation

Some feel these are opposites.  While cooperation has been the hallmark of all our moral teachings of the past, competition has become part of our developmental lexicon perhaps after Charles Darwin's proposition which has by now become mainstream thinking as the human condition. Unfortunately the scientific world and so the generations that came in its wake did not perhaps read his origin of the species with the depth it deserved. Darwin did not just talk about the survival of the fittest but of the abounding love and compassion also embodied in nature and its species. His mention of love and cooperation more than competition is noteworthy. But we always seem to look at the interesting aspects of any writing or proposal in its move away from mainstream thinking. This difference is what makes anything or anybody interesting.  So Darwin’s theory was taken for what it said was different -- not for what he confirmed as the universal truth of cooperation also.

Cooperation breeds togetherness and harmony whereas competition tends to cleave us apart as the primeval desire in us takes hold of us. This happens as the worldview changes from people seeing that all around us is ours to a concept that defines everything around us as commodities -- something that can be bought and sold for the price that we set by whatever means. Perhaps the first such event happened when someone drew a line on the ground and claimed all within it was his. Thus was born selfishness and desire to have what should be ours. And since then settlements for living and economic paradigms for living has been expounded in the view that competition is what makes us excitable and what makes us tick as a developmental being, even when everything outside of us -- in nature and within us as God's creation as also a part of this nature -- shows us otherwise. The very cells with its billions of organelles and all of it that is in animals and vegetables work in perfect unison and cooperation to keep our universe alive.

So how can we be so swayed to negate all of this and believe that competition is the way for us? We have to open our eyes to the havoc competition is playing in our very nation of Maldives leaving us all perplexed as to what harmony democracy is bringing us. Yes, my friends we have got this all wrong. Democracy is about cooperation in its deeper sense, not competition.

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