In the past few years, many people have started to think that competition is unnecessary. Teachers are concerned that students might feel upset and discouraged if they aren’t at the top of their class. Although it is true that not everyone can win, competition should still be encouraged. Competition allows human beings to improve themselves and be motivated (Jones 2009). First and foremost, I think that competition is a natural element of our lives, and depriving competition only makes things worse for our world (Jones 2009).
In high school, competition is everywhere. Many students compete for titles such as the best basketball player, best math student, or best artist. When it comes to professional sports, there are many great rivalries. For years, I have watched great rivalries between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Rivalries allow individuals to better themselves, because only one team or individual can win when it comes to sports. It allows someone to improve, and try to win the next time around. For me, when it comes to science fair or a math and science competition, I always try to be much better the next year. Everyone has their ups and downs, and you can’t win or be good at everything.
Artwork is a great example of how competition has helped influence our world. Artwork in our world allows us to express our feelings and views. Most of our impressive pieces of art come from the 15th century, which was the time of the Renaissance. Had it not been for the competitiveness during those times, artwork would probably be far different than the way it is today. Friendly competition between artists allows people to work for something, and also allows people to display their skills. Just like debate, competition allows one to expand his or her abilities. Competitions can give the drive necessary for people to accomplish great things. Most of Florentine artwork was produced out of competition between artists.
Just like how there is competition in the 21st century, there was competition in the 15th century. An enormous cathedral called the Duomo, began construction in 1296, and continued for nearly six centuries (Esaak 2008). Adjacent to the cathedral, is a building called the Baptistery. An artist named Andrea Pisano built a pair of bronze doors for the east side of the Baptistery (Esaak 2008). These doors were considered to be modern wonders at the time, and many of the inhabitants of Florence wanted another set of bronze doors. As a result, a competition was set-up for all sculptors and painters, to make the best set of bronze doors. In the end, it was between Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti. The judges chose Ghiberti in the end, despite both having similar skillsets (Esaak 2008). In conclusion, Ghiberti got the commission, and Brunelleschi turned his talents to architecture.
Without competition in our world, we surely would not have been able to achieve so much. Many scientists wouldn’t have been able to further their skills, as they wouldn’t have been able to compete against others. Most of our discoveries came from people who had a drive, because they wanted to find something out about the world before someone else. Our school would also be very different, as we wouldn’t have the talented students that we have right now. When it comes to competition, I think that the positives outweigh the negatives. Competiveness is a quality that we can thank humanists of the Renaissance for, as they were from a time where many ideals and views changed for the better.
Esaak, Shelley. “Early Italian Renaissance Art – How Florence Got a Competitive Edge.” About.com Art History. Web. 29 Feb. 2012. <http://arthistory.about.com/cs/arthistory10one/a/early_ren_2.htm>.
Jones, Katherine. “Does Competition Help or Hurt Young People?” Helium.com. 4 Mar. 2009. Web. 1 Mar. 2012. <http://www.helium.com/debates/116934-does-competition-help-or-hurt-young-people/side_by_side>.