Columns Competition exhausts athletes, but what does it do for the rest of us?

Competition is part of life, but winning others is a bad way of life.


Competitive sports offers entertainment and excitement, strong feelings of disappointment to the delight of both the athletes themselves and us spectators. Emotional moments of competition connect and share people and entire nations.

Athletes are admired heroes who give their all time and time again, tirelessly and without mugs. For every play, it leaves for the game to last. That’s how we imagine.

Recently, however, athletes have begun to talk more directly about how the forces ran out, self-talk ruined life, or came against a wall.

One the opening of the discussion was figure skater Kiira Korpi, who shared her experiences in her biography Quick: broken intact a couple of years ago. Only at the end of his career did Korpi realize how ruthless he had been to himself and others.

Many other athletes have recently reported their problems. They have boldly raised other grievances, such as sexual harassment in sports circles. Bold appearances are the best way to do something about things that are hidden.

Hopefully this also speaks to the change in attitudes in sport. Although top sports always require a lot of sacrifice and dedication to the sport, lasting results can only be achieved by a well-to-do person.

Competitive belongs, of course, to life. After all, biological evolution is the result of a certain kind of competition: the strongest have survived, and their genes are passed on to the next generations.

The fiercest competition in the entire animal kingdom is when males compete with females. There is not much pity for our competitors.

Man, then, with his big brains, has come up with the idea that we are not animals, but we also have grace, Civilization, humanism, and the ideal of equality.

Competition-related problems also emerged in a book published in the spring by psychoanalyst Pertti Simula How to face anger and malice. In interviews he found that constant competition and repressed emotions make us sick.

Simula believes that excessive competition is harmful because it stifles compassion and is an obstacle to equality.

Simula isn’t the only one who thinks the competition has gone too far and is spreading where it wouldn’t be needed. He also has first-hand experience of this, as Simula left the position of Executive Vice President of Valmet’s Brazilian unit for precisely these reasons.

Of course, competition has its place, and in general, it also improves performance in working life. But everyone has certainly experienced that sometimes the competition takes over.

If competition becomes the prevailing way of life, a person is endlessly dissatisfied with both himself and others. If you are looking for luck in doing better than others, you will definitely be disappointed: there will always be someone who will do even better.

Special attention should be paid to children and young people who are just beginning to become members of the human community.

Do we raise them as compassionate neighbors while demanding ten performances from them?

Life is a balance of power and powerlessness, as Psychotherapist Maaret Kallio has said. As important as good performance is that you must also fail and feel small and weak. Only in this way can you grow strong.

Since life is also rampant from one bump to another, with good self-regulation it will survive. Instead of beating others, it’s worth building a connection with other people.

The philosopher Frank Martela has aptly said: “Life is not an accomplishment where one has to reach the finish line. Rather, it is music that plays. As long as you hear the music, you can dance. ”

The author is the editorial editor of HS.


Bhavi Mandalia

Bhavi Mandalia

Enneagram 7. The multi-tasker. Growing one step closer every day to leaving my legacy.

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