Most of us are familiar with Darwin’s theory of evolution. For decades it has been taught in schools and studied. When Darwin first published his theory though, he probably had no idea that the premise of survival of the strongest or fittest would transcend the boundaries of biology. The unintended consequences of this very basic concept unfortunately permeates our society in ways far more damaging than the simple theory itself.
What I am focusing on is the basic concept of competition. In this Holiday season where our focus should be on connection and cooperation, I was drawn to reflect on the year and how the spirit of competition versus compassion has seemed to be so evident. If you accept that only the strongest prevail, then competition is the means to assert one’s dominance. From the earliest age, we are taught to win. It may be little girls in beauty pageants, childhood sports with rabid parents intent on winning, or beating others for that promotion or job. In each case, others must lose for you to win.
We see this played out in our adult lives on an even grander scale. Nations battle each other for supremacy. Politicians undermine their ‘adversary’ in order to win. Corporate politics geared to manipulating others or even running them over in order to prevail or beating a competitor to market. In so many examples, it is this learned behavior that winning is all that matters. But what happens in the world of competition is that we have to injure others in order to come out on top. We come to learn that winning at all costs requires us to put others down.
Darwin certainly didn’t invent competition – he simply translated it to a scale that transcends all aspects of humanity. People have been at war with each other for thousands of years in the name of territory or the belief that one religion was superior to another, or for resources. Politicians and world leaders have used competition to enslave others. What Darwin ultimately did however was to make competition an inherently biological and therefore inevitable aspect of the human condition. In other words, from the Darwinian perspective, competition is in our DNA.
This is where Darwin’s theory has led to the deterioration and destruction in some cases of the soul. The very essence of humanity is not rooted in competition but in connection, cooperation, collaboration, and compassion. When we allow ourselves to view others through a lens of competition, it creates distance and de-humanizes. After all, I don’t want to feel compassion and love for someone I’m about to overcome or beat. By de-humanizing my ‘opponent’ I insulate myself from feeling sorry or regret when I defeat them.
This is how we get to the point where entire groups become lower creatures in God’s creation. History is filled with examples where de-humanization was the essential step required to justify some of the world’s greatest atrocities. And while we can be grateful we aren’t engaged in that degree of depravity, when our actions or words destroy the soul of another by degradation, we reinforce the Darwinian destruction we were taught.
In my next reflection, I want to build on these thoughts to suggest that when we use competition as our religion, we destroy our own souls as much as another’s for we are all truly one. So in this festive season where our focus should be on love, compassion for others (even those you dislike), and giving, I challenge you to leave the spirit of competition behind in 2017 and step into a your higher purpose.
I believe in the transformative power of human connection to elevate joy, restore balance, and support inner healing as you seek your highest purpose. My purpose in life is to be a guide, to share the wisdom of the Universe I’ve been gifted with, and to see others succeed. Nothing brings me greater joy than to see others step into their purpose in a vibrant and highly energetic way.
Searching for deeper insight into your highest life purpose? Trying to find your true path and discover how to step into your gifts and be aligned with your own truth? I offer a range of services focused on offering you insight and support on your life’s path. Check out www.connect2action.com for more insight and services.