Stop Trying to Win and Start Trying to be Helpful

You know, there are really two ways of being in the world. There is the way of competition and then there is the way of cooperation or being helpful. We have indicated that the way of competition is based on a person whose fundamental intention is being here to get. Because a competitive person wants to always win, they want to assert themselves and stand out above everyone else. They are concerned with becoming grand and acquiring as much as possible

Now, if I want something from you, your ability to withhold what I want gives you power over me. It makes you dangerous to me. It is precisely because I want something from you that I become dangerous to you. So, when the you engage with another person based on intent to get something from them. Then they become dangerous to you, and you become dangerous to them. You repel each other, you end up in a situation where you both can’t be in the same space.

As soon as someone takes the intention to take or to get, they repel the other and they are repelled by the other, and you then have a competitive world where only one can survive. Only one can be at the same space at the same time, we become territorial; we protect our turf. We have people under our heel, and we have people on top of our head.

The way of cooperation or being helpful is shown in a person who is fundamentally here to serve; he is here to give something; he wants to be helpful. In any situation he looks at the situation on the basis of how he can be helpful and because he looks at the world from that point of view, the other is safe from him and he is safe from the other and when you have two people that are fundamentally safe from one another you have harmony, in other words these two can coexist, they don’t repel each other, they attract each other.

Cooperative = Giving, Competitive = Taking

So, the intent to take produces a competitive world and the intent to give produces a cooperative world. The person who has the intent to take is a person who is always in win-lose situations with people, he must be the winner and the other person must be the loser. A person who is here to give, is basically trying to vacate the space so the other person can inhabit the space.

What has also become apparent in this distinction is that there is an undertone to the internal dialogue of these two people. The person who has good faith in existence, the person who is cooperative has a particular character to his internal discourse. A person who is here to take, a person who doesn’t believe that life looks after him, a person who is trying to get his own out of life also has a particular character to their internal dialogue.

The person who is here to take – the competitive person. Their way of looking at the world is based in judgment because they are always trying to work out who is top and who is bottom, who is better and who is worse. So, there is always a competition going on between them and the world that they are in. As they are walking through their life, their internal dialogue is a continuous dialogue of judgment. That is good, that is bad, that is better, that is worse, I’m on top of that, I’m below that.

The person who has a cooperative way of being – who is here to serve. Does not have a judgmental undertone to their internal dialogue. They are not trying to compete with things as much as understand them. When you are really trying to see something. You almost want to stand a little bit away so you can see the whole picture. This person is vacating the space, they are not competing for space they are vacating because they want to see what’s there. They want to understand what is there. So, a cooperative person – a person who is here to serve. Is a person whose internal character is one of curiosity rather than one of judgment. They are interested in the world that they are in rather than trying to compete with the world that they are in.

Now I would hazard to say. That the only person who can make a meaningful and helpful contribution to the world that they’re in is the cooperative person. To make an effective contribution to the world requires the ability to see the world as it is. The competitive person can’t do this. They are too engrossed in hierarchies and significance. That they can’t recognise the world as it is independently of their attempt to impose hierarchies.

Only the cooperative person can see the world as it is. They have shut up for long enough, they have loved it for long enough. They have been curious about it for long enough for the true character of the world to reveal itself to them. Their action is wholesome. Whereas, the person who is walking through the world with judgment. Only ever deals with the world based on their prejudices. With the effect of that being that they destroy things around them.

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1 Response
  1. MUHAMMAD talha arshad

    Assalamoalikum
    In my view, its not as black and white, these distinctions, and a competitive person may not at all be someone with a bad intent. These two traits, although somewhat independent of eachother, may also co-exist. An example, one may compete with the other over being cooperative (there is a lot of historical evidence of that). One may also find a motivation to improve his skills and traits – rather also become better as a person by being in competition with others over nobility with a good intention.
    Whats mentioned in the article is the bad side of being competitive, and i would agree, ‘that intent’ is counter productive, not only at an individual but also at a collective, social, national and global level. This is more of a corporate way of life, where hypocrisy is termed as diplomacy and such competitiveness (with an ill intent of taking the other one down) is termed as being ambitious.
    Nice article, although i would disagree that being competitive is instinctively evil as a trait. Rather, its a tool and one may use it for good or bad

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