Sport, Competition and Fiery Debate

Julia Gillard, when Prime Minister, was asked why politicians need to act the way they do in parliament, to which her defensive reply was that this country has been built on fiery debate, that much had been achieved as a result of the cauldron that we know to be parliament. Competition runs deep in every aspect of our society and is treasured as one of the great forces that leads to innovation, evolution, and change. But perhaps the question that should have been posed to Julia Gillard was “How incredible is it that anything has actually been achieved in parliament DESPITE the fiery debate that goes on?”

For what could be achieved if parliamentarians truly worked together? What if we stopped championing competitive debate as the bastion of truth and allowed ourselves to co-operate in unison towards the greater common purpose? Of course to do so would reveal the fact that underneath competition is the insatiable drive of the self-centred individual, who, devoid of the understanding of their own true worth, is desperate to prop up their own self-esteem at the expense of another.

Of course, competition is championed as the cornerstone of true success, and sport is its greatest monument. Yet, despite the bubble of pretence that we all hold high level athletes in, the fact is that most if not all at the top echelon of sport have truly low self-esteem. Without needing to name them, there are many recent examples of high level sports people, who once retired, have no foundation within themselves to fall back upon, once stripped of that which consumed their whole identity. Their inability to re-integrate into everyday society and their struggles with substance abuse stand as testament to the fact that competition is not character building, but rather character destroying.

Ultimately competition serves neither the victor nor loser to know themselves in essence. The loser is left either crushed in defeat, or returns more determined than ever to seek to understand their self worth as being directly related to the quality of their achievements. The winner, hooked on the temporary elation fed to them by their success – and devoid of the understanding of their own true worth – must eventually return to the struggle of finding solace in their own empty company.

This is why winners must keep on winning to fill the empty void within them, until they are eventually spat out by the system that once made them great. Alas, stripped of what made them who they were, they become but strangers in their own company. Depression often follows those left to walk the quiet streets when no one is there to remind them of their own name by bellowing it out from the grandstands above.

The sad thing is that we falsely believe that true confidence is a foundation that we need to build in our children, when in truth the foundation is already there at birth. In trying to ensure our children grow up with self-esteem, we ironically ensure the erosion of that foundation – which begins in the playground where we foster the child to value themselves by how good they are in comparison to another by the institution we know as sport.

The reason we cannot see it as parents, and coaches, is that we too have had our true foundations whittled away by such ideals as competition – ideals that are further fuelled and exemplified by the fiery debates of our parliamentarians who defend their verbal stoushes as a necessary function of progress, and by those who defend sport as one of the character building pillars of a healthy society.

In the end it is the blind leading the blind, with neither the coach, nor player, nor parliamentarian understanding that all they do under the guise of achievement serves only to whittle away the true confidence one was originally born with.

It is a testament to Serge Benhayon – a former successful tennis coach – that he was able to see through the illusion of all the higher ideals that sport seemingly offered, and furthermore walk away from its sweet allure when all he had once known was the taste of its so called success.

By Adam Warburton – Builder, former athlete, Universal Medicine Student

This blog originated as a comment inspired by the blog: From Ball Game to Race: a Not-So-Healthy Competition

752 thoughts on “Sport, Competition and Fiery Debate

  1. The other side to this is the abuse that takes place in homes when the opposing team losses. There has been so much research into this but research doesn’t change the fact that the rates of abuse towards women and families increases when there is competitive sport. In America one very famous sports star was asked what was he going to do now his team had lost, his reply was he was going home to beat up his wife the interviewer didn’t bat an eyelid and just accepted that was what the guy was going to do, we have allowed abusive behaviour to become so normalised.

  2. Adam our whole lives are about competitions. It starts from when we are babies. Who has early teeth, crawling, walking, speaking etc. You see mothers taking their babies to classes where they are being shown the alphabet, probably hoping that one day they may turn into a genius.

    It’s always about a gain but never about the individual it’s affecting. Road rage is about competition, who has the fastest car and the list is endless.

    I don’t like competitions and I’ve never enjoyed observing the losing team, hence why I’ve never been a fan of competitive sports.

    I love what Serge Benhayon continually presents to us. And I’ve learnt that it’s not only about us but every one around us too.

  3. Our society has such a huge focus on achievements as founding someone’s self worth. So when something happens and the achievements can no longer be ‘achieved’ then there is nothing more to stand upon. Similarly one can compare all achievements to someone else’s achievements and one will always find someone who has achieved more and others who have achieved less – so no matter where you look you will find someone who you can compare yourself to and can make you feel falsely grander or falsely inferior. How unstable is this as a means to look at your own worth – it is guaranteed to bring you down at some point in time. When will we be ready to look at true self worth and its real meaning and foundation?

    1. And in the glorification of one’s achievement, another could be left devastated. Then it adds more to the lack of self worth, rejection etc issues.

  4. Once again a truth revealed that we may not be wanting to own up to as a society: “competition is not character building, but rather character destroying.” … True character is built from a consistency of acting on behalf of all, rather than making it about being better than another.

  5. This really should be the definition or understanding of competition in the dictionary: “underneath competition is the insatiable drive of the self-centred individual, who, devoid of the understanding of their own true worth, is desperate to prop up their own self-esteem at the expense of another.” – brilliant Adam – thank you!

  6. To me this is what makes Serge Benhayon so real and relatable that he once was a Tennis coach and was caught up in the dog eat dog world of competition and actively coached and encouraged children to be competitive against each other. But as you say Adam he was supported to see through the illusion of individualism just as he is now supporting those who are interested to see through the complete illusion of life. I always felt there was something not quite right with the way we interact with each other, Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine has supported me to gain a greater understanding of why life is the way it is, and to have the confidence to say I do not accept this or want to live it in a way that separates us from each other.

  7. Thank you Adam, we can all deepen our relationship within our essences and when we do the understanding of what you have shared is profound because of the wisdom it comes from.

    1. Which is why a win, or similar always feels like there is something missing, an emptiness … ‘underneath competition is the insatiable drive of the self-centred individual, who, devoid of the understanding of their own true worth, is desperate to prop up their own self-esteem at the expense of another.’

  8. When we play this game of being a winner, defeating another, coming out on top, we are standing on a very wobbly grounds. Everything depends on that single point and even if you manage to conquer, there’s the next one, and the next one. There is no true settlement in this game that confirms and celebrates who we truly are.

    1. It keeps us all in the momentum of looking outside of ourselves for acceptance and recognition, and as you say Fumiyo there is no settlement. It’s all a massive plot so that humanity does not get to feel who they really are, we are fed lies so that we do not hear the truth when it is spoken.

  9. When we know we are coming from truth, there’s no need to argue and convince another, it’s like ‘I know what is true, and so do you.’

  10. I always wondered – if every politician’s motivation was truly about people that they say they care, and making the world a better place for everyone, why should there ever be any kind of disagreement? It is a very poor excuse that we have to compete against one other in order to bring about something better. It is a deliberate displacement of an argument to disguise the fact that their interest lies elsewhere and nobody really truly cares.

  11. ‘For what could be achieved if parliamentarians truly worked together?’ What could be achieved if EVERYONE worked together not just parliaments!!!! Families, friends, neighbourhoods, communities, schools, companies, towns, cities, countries the list literally goes on

  12. Just as we look back and see the colosseum’s and the activity that took place inside them as barbaric so to one day in the future will we also see competition for the harm it truly is.

  13. ‘…competition is not character building, but rather character destroying’ sadly this is not admitted for the truth it is. I have felt decimated by competition – whether that’s when I have lost, or won there’s always someone who is deemed less. Victory is never sweet.

    1. We have competition in the sales team and it feel horrendous everyone feels it but nobody speaks up to say hey what’s going on, except me. It is so demeaning and the stress that it causes surely is not worth it. It is no way to value the people who work for the company. It leaves the sales team feeling divided and so there is no ‘team’ it just becomes an empty word.

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