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Is the growing level of competition good for the youth?

Our world today is defined as one which is professional, practical and competitive. And it is rightly done so. There seems to be an outburst of information and a rate of transformation, humanly difficult to keep up with.

Though it comes with a myriad of benefits for us, like everything else, brings along its own share of challenges and problems.

With the advent of internet, providing us with access to apparently all knowledge based resources around the world, the practice of equating potential and ability to knowledge has become obsolete. A person is considered at par only if he is result- driven, capable of giving concrete results and meeting deadlines and targets. Numbers are used to define a person. It all boils down to a rat race with the competitors trying to get an edge over each other at any cost. In this rat race, the passion for work and the happiness one derives out of it tends to fade away.

A similar trend can be observed in educational institutions with students putting their heart and soul into getting more marks than their peers, making it more like a virtual warzone. A place which should be conducive to creativity and diversity in ideas becomes more like a factory leaving no stone unturned to churn out identical units stuffed with facts having no intellect of their own .The purpose of education has shifted from "being educated" to "being trained". Instead of encouraging students to question, to ponder, and to explore, they are encouraged to gulp down as many pieces of information as possible with utmost accuracy.

It would be safe to say that this sort of competition kills the intellect of the person. Intellect- the ability to question, to judge and to analyze- is where the beauty of human brain lies. This is what sets us apart from machines and other animals. It wouldn't be a shock if the world produces no Einstein's and Shakespeare's in the coming years.

The irony is that a person is subjected to such competition even during childhood, the time when the mind is at the highest level of curiosity. This curiosity is nibbled in the bud. Such is the level of competition today that a person has to start fairly early if he is to succeed. Though it might exponentially increase the chances of being successful, it surely leaves no time for a person to explore himself. Consequently, a lot among the youth today end up being unhappy and unsatisfied with the kind of work they do. A lot of them also end up being uncertain about what they really wanted to do even after years of education.

The youth falls prey to paradigms and fail to find their true potential and interest. They are in so much haste that taking a minute for themselves will put them too far behind others. They find no time to have a social, or even a family life sometimes. They find no time for their hobbies and recreation. Being subjected to such gruesome competition, there is a palpable level of anxiety and depression among the youth. This is evident with the growing number of suicides in recent years.

The competition today is so cut throat, that the youth today sometimes becomes blind to ethics and morals too. Even in the field of sports, so blind is the race to success that we come across many cases of doping and unfair means every other day. Even what was ideally used to inculcate sportsmanship in people hasn't been unaffected.

Competition, with the intention it must have been invented, isn't a bad thing. It helps one check their progress and to hone their skills. Thus, it should be used as a benchmark to analyze oneself, and not to mould oneself. Competition should be there, but a healthy one.

- Urvashi Chauhan

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