Cooperation is more important than Competition
Today, the world is highly competitive. Governments, corporations, learning institutions, businesses, and individuals are all competing to be the best in different aspects. The advancement of society today depends on both competition and cooperation because of the different roles they play. Competition is between two forces, which are opposing each other. Where there is competition, one party falls while the other stands tall, it is therefore a zero-sum game, where equals do not exist, it is either win or lose. In cooperation, there is the collective role of achieving a goal for the benefit of everyone. Competition in businesses leads to the production of better products and services; however, it may lead to the collapse of one business, leaving the other one in the market. In personal development, cooperation is more preferable. It results in better individuals and better society as a whole. Teamwork is the major bearer of cooperation, in which the productivity of each individual is enhanced. The society today embraces competition, which is problematic, instead of embracing cooperation for positive individual and societal growth.
Social conditioning is to blame for high competition in the world today. Schools teach students to compete academically, while in the business world, promotions and salary increments are offered on merit of improvements on performances, which is based on ranks. Big businesses, learning institutions, health care institutions, as well as parents still perpetuate the competition element, disregarding cooperation. None of them realizes the adverse effects competition has on the economy, as well as personal development of individuals. It is quite unfortunate that people are not taught cooperative skills at an early age. This has fostered a culture of competition in the society today. Companies compete today to make the most profits in the market, and have the best brands. Such competition is responsible for some of the social and economic problems experienced today. Human beings are inter-connected and belong to one whole, which makes them parts of a whole. Then without arguing, it is a fact that humans should cooperate, since they affect each other in different ways. Besides, cooperation involves making other people better. This is because while cooperating, talented individuals uplift the less talented individuals. Cooperation in itself is fulfilling and therefore, individuals must adopt it.
The skills of cooperation should be imparted in individuals when they are still in their early ages. This way, children grow up into adults who value and embrace cooperation. The process of life is all about relationships and interactions between different people. No man is an island, and therefore, each individual is guaranteed of these interactions. An individual’s life journey starting at their home, school, and workplace is about meeting people and living with them. A student cannot study on their own, an employee too cannot work alone, and neither can a person engage in leisure activities alone. Therefore, if individuals lack cooperation, they will live miserable lives, since they cannot harmoniously co-exist with others. Skills of cooperation must be inherent in people in order for them to face different situations life presents to them.
Cooperation leads to development of the society. In cooperation, one plus one is larger than two, while in competition, it is a zero-sum game, where one wins, and another loses. A case in point is, if two companies are in a competition, one will definitely lose and maybe fall out of business, while the other remains stronger in the market. If this trend is popular in a country, the number of companies may drop, thus adversely affecting the country’s economy. On the other hand, if two companies decide to cooperate, this results in equal growth of the companies, as they will share improvement ideas. Alternatively, they may merge and form a bigger, stronger company. This is beneficial to a country, as the economy will be strengthened.
Competition results in hostility and hatred. When two parties are competing, they all view each other as a rival, and an impediment to their success. They therefore work hard to ensure they get rid of their rivals by weakening them, while they themselves grow stronger. Thanks to competition, we now have the demarcation between losers and winners, who receive differential treatment. In such a society, it becomes hard for individuals and groups to forge friendships or partnerships since they view each other as rivals or potential rivals. Competition leads to lack of trust in society. Competitors do not trust each other. Anyway, why would someone trust a person who is after his or her failure in life, and will rejoice when it happens? Therefore, competition in society only results in a bunch of insecure individuals. It is likened to a double-edged sword, which splits and destroys relationships.
Cooperation focuses on the growth and development of everyone, and not only one individual, as many people work together toward a common goal. This way, everyone is equally developed. On the other hand, competition focuses on rivalry for a goal, hence focuses on a specific individual. The mind-set of competitors is that there must be defeat for others, however, in cooperation, there is no room for defeat as it aims at general welfare of people in the society. This therefore makes cooperation the best strategy for societal collective development.
A society that embraces pure competition without cooperation cannot survive. This shows how cooperation is superior to competition. For example, in political elections, competition is highly exhibited. However, after the competitive period of elections, the elected leaders must cooperate with the citizens in order to run the country well. If the government cooperates more with its people, it is more likely to achieve excellence in its leadership. Therefore, competition is weak and must be complemented with cooperation in order to produce stable results.
Cooperation, unlike competition, can stand alone. For example, in marriages and other personal relationships, there needs to be no competition. In fact, competition in these kinds of interactions will only break them down. Cooperation strengthens relationships, while competition breaks relationships. Another example is the case of emergencies relief situations. If competition is employed in such cases, it can lead to devastating effects. During most humanitarian situations such as earthquakes, famine, or floods, the humanitarian agents do not compete; rather, they cooperate with each other in helping the affected populations. This shows that cooperation is superior, as it does not need competition to achieve good results. In the learning process, students feel good when they cooperate in class rather than reading on their own. This boosts their self-esteem and gives them a sense of belonging, acceptance, and community, since they are engaged in group discussions. Cooperation also provides an opportunity for creativity. This is the same case even at the workplace, where teamwork is highly embraced.
In order to deal with the problem of negative competition in society, most of the corrective efforts must be aimed at the educational system. Teaching students, who are future generation and professionals, is paramount. These should be taught cooperative skills so that they will influence the future corporate world positively, thus improving the economy. The same responsibility must be taken by parents to teach their children cooperative skills at an early age. Once cooperation is realized in society, it becomes much easier to deal with different societal issues.
Generally, cooperation boosts people’s leadership skills, gives everyone a chance to participate and feel part of a group, and changes a person’s perception of their job place. Cooperation also leads to a quality output and better working environments. However, cooperation must be conducted while upholding the integrity of the activity being undertaken. It ought to be an objective cooperation. Nonetheless, cooperation is of great value in the society, it should therefore be practiced, and encouraged. It is because of cooperation that people acquire the virtue of good will. Unlike cooperation, which brings out the best in us, competition often brings out the beast in us. There is therefore no other better time to adopt cooperation, except now.
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