Satisfactory Essays
Two best friends are torn apart. A man meticulously plots revenge on the person who got the job he was dying for. A nation is full of rage and fear because another country beat them in the race to walk on the moon. Sadly, all of these situations were caused by one thing, competition. In Alfie Kohn’s essay, “Competition Is Destructive”, he describes competition as having a “toxic effect on our relationships”(11). Although competition has many positive effects in this world, when talking specifically about relationships, whether it be between best friends, two strangers, or even entire nations, it fuels negative feelings and attitudes that transform people into monsters.
Close relationships often have their ups and downs. When one spends enough time with a person it is inevitable that they will have an argument. Best friends, for example, share everything with each other. They laugh together, cry together and trust one another completely. Yet throw a boy that they are both interested in into the picture and they are lying and backstabbing their way into his arms. Or perhaps they are both dying to play Juliet. Suddenly they view each other as enemies who will stop at nothing for the part. One might spread rumors about the other or sabotage her audition. Even something as innocent as grades can turn into a knockdown, drag-out, fight to the finish. They resort to cheating, or anything that will give them a leg up from the other. These crazy situations are just a few of the many examples that show how competition can create feelings of resentment, bitterness and even hatred between people who at one point were inseparable.
Competition between good friends is not the only instance in which negative feelings can occur. Surprisingly, the exact same feelings of resentment and hostility can happen between two perfect strangers. With no valid reason, children and adults alike can work up an enormous grudge against a person that they have never spoken to, or possibly never even seen. Take for instance a boy on a high school football team. Off the field he is a respectable student who is always considerate of others. Yet the second he steps on that field he transforms into a monster who is out to “get” the other team, to “show them who’s boss.” He has never met these people before and has no reason to feel such anger towards them other than the fact that they are standing in the way of his team winning the game.
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