There is something to be said for playing a sport. Any type of sport as this teaches you that it is ok to be competitive but also how to lose graciously. This appears to have been lost in the world that we live in.
Recently on our twelve-day Ovation of the Seas cruise from Sydney to NZ and back, a motley crew of table tennis enthusiasts from many parts of the world met on a regular basis to do battle to gain a gold, silver or bronze medal. The competition was fierce but always playful and joyful with compliments all round for great shots.
There is a moral or a lesson in all this. The word competition can also be defined as ‘striving together’. Of course, both parties are trying to win but in doing so, they bring out the best in each other and it is the sheer exhilaration of playing well that is more important than the result.
Some teachers often feel that what they do is ordinary, and they are not keen to discuss their craft with others. Some do not want to share their excellent ideas and practices with others, either out of modesty or even out of a desire to remain out front. However, if teachers accept the idea of networking and sharing great teaching practice, this will bring out the best in more teachers, leading to happier and more engaging and fulfilling classrooms and classroom practice.
Of course, the above also holds true when parents get together to discuss the challenging role of parenting. In sharing best practice, they develop better parenting skills to make their homes even better.
Therefore, competition is not really about being the only winner, rather it is about sharing great ideas to make better communities where all strive together for success.
Image of My table tennis partner Richard from the UK and I showing our gold medal for winning the doubles on one of the days.