When I was a kid, I was in competition with about, say, 250 people. And it was always for a specific “event.” Academics. Athletics. Romance. Popularity.
Competition was something you choose to enter. And oppositions were respected also for choosing to enter the competition.
And then there is the entirety of this enormous world of billions of people minus 250 who were beyond competition.
People that are older were to be respected and bowed to for the wisdom they have that I’m not wise enough to understand yet.
People that are really old for having lived without electricity and washing machines and worked themselves to the bones so I didn’t have to. People that are older could do, wear, eat, and say whatever they want. They earned it because otherwise I won’t even be here.
People that are my age and in direct competition with me for a certain aspect of life and I had mutual understanding about where the competition started and ended, and we were allies outside of the competition. We would spend 360 days as comrades fighting for the same thing and 5 days as enemies fighting for the same thing.
Those that are younger than me never threatened me. They are unwise and need protection, guidance, lessons, discipline, and maybe possibly some affection. I did not need their approvals, whether or not they will like me because of what I was going to do to them never shifted my decisions. There was a fundamental, unshakable, and, most importantly universal, belief that they will in fact than me later.
Today, both kids and adults live in competition every hour of every day.
Things young people do shakes your self worth. The things young people value, or “perceive as being cool,” determine your value. Keeping up to ever-changing set of “cool words” makes you feel accepted and “rad.”
You’re cooler than your mom because your mom just doesn’t get how to use her iPhone.
Is there any reason whatsoever to trash your grandmother’s choice of clothing and hair colour if you didn’t perceive yourself to be in competition with your cohorts for having a cooler grandmother?
You feel the need to have (or force) people to know that you know people that are cool. If your cohort brings up something cool, you feel your position in the society hierarchy is threatened unless you broadcast that you too belong in that class by knowing this other friend of yours.
You feel that, even though you feel LuluLemon is completely overrated, non-eco, and ill-fitting, you should probably have one pair just so people don’t just assume you don’t know of it or you can’t afford it.
What is it, I wonder, that would bring them a moment of peace?
Where they can just sit and not feel or be in competition?