Thursday, July 7, 2011

Brian’s Reflection: Friday, July 8, 2011

Competition is a sin.

John D. Rockefeller, industrialist,
philanthropist; he was born on
this date, 1839

I have never liked competition, and almost never succumbed to it in my life. The only thing I remember being competitive in was playing raquetball when I was younger ….. yep, I actually played a lot from about age 20 to 40! I played hard to WIN. Can’t really picture it can you! Venting built-up energy I think.

Competition means win-lose in “modern” usage. It means defeating your opponent, your “enemy” - and I have always hated that approach to Life. Including climbing the career ladder in the Church.

But the word “competition” in origin doesn’t mean this. It comes from the late Latin verb “competere”, meaning “to seek together with”, to strive together, to coincide, to be suitable.

I don’t know where in Rockefeller’s career he made this comment. It is possible he was just a ruthless businessman and moneymaker. But, he did give away about a half billion dollars in “charity”. I would like to think that he, at least at some point in his life, felt that people who were good at making money should work together to better the World. And that working against each other, to defeat the competitor, was an obnoxious and anti-social way to live.

So, I’m going with my interpretation: Working together, “competing together”, to better the World, striving together, coming together for a “suitable” building up of the common good.

American Congress (and other political bodies), Religions: Take Note.


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