Was your child eliminated from the spelling bee and came home in tears? Have you heard of an athlete who took steroids to win? How did you feel when you were chosen last in a game because you were not as “good” as the others?
All of these events reflect our preoccupation with competition. This concept is deeply rooted in our nation’s education, sports, politics and even in families. Author Alfiew Kohn, in his well-researched book No Contest, The Case Against Competition writes how we are “encouraged to pit ourselves against one another and taught that competition is a prod to productivity, a builder of character, and an unavoidable part of human nature…. ”
It is ironic that we play games to be together yet spend our efforts trying to bankrupt someone, destroy their armies, conquer the world, etc.—all goals which create hostility and separate us…
– Jim Deacove
Owner of Family Pastimes Games