What Does It Mean to Compete?

Not that they don’t love to compete, but they do it in the spirit of play.

Verse #68 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.

Have you ever played a game with someone and they are only concerned with winning? Have you ever played with someone who will do everything and anything to win? How about those people who gloat and gloat about their wins afterward? Do you know anyone like that? It doesn’t make playing a game very much fun does it? Unless of course you win and then rub their faces in it. Right? It is really satisfying when you pull a win from this type of person at the last minute, then you really rub it in their faces. Give them a taste of their own medicine. Of course we are all too nice of people to ever have done that! In the end, none of these things make a game enjoyable to play – for you or the other players. Is that what it means to compete – to only play so you can win and someone else lose? The word compete is defined as: to strive to outdo another foracknowledgment, a prize, supremacy, or profit; engage in a contest.I guess winning is outdoing all the others in the game and yet it doesn’t have to what is it all about.

The Tao speaks about completing in the spirit of play. If you are engaged in a game, especially the game of life, and all you are doing is thinking, planning, and scheming about how to win, and of how everyone else can lose, are you really doing it in the spirit of play? Play implies enjoyment for all involved. You might a thrill and a rush for your experience, and yet those around you probably are not having that same reaction. You can compete and go for the win and still have those around you enjoy the game. Enjoyment of the game is essential to have others play with you. After all, if it is always about crushing your opponent and everyone else, then soon no one else will play with you. You might enjoy that. However most people at the end of the game, at the end of their lives, are considered with the people in their life and not the wins in there life. If you are only surrounded by your wins then things can get pretty lonely. Go ahead and compete, and do so from the place of play. Have a good time and make sure others are also. The game is no fun if you are playing alone.


In Love and Light


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