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Is the growing level of competition good for the youth?

Basic tenet of the Darwin's theory of evolution is "Survival of the fittest". Historically as well as biologically, all living beings have been competing for the survival. Human beings have also been competing among each other as well as with other species living on earth. So, it would not be exaggeration to state that competition is in the very soul and blood of human. However, the nature and meaning of competition has evolved over time.

With increasing globalization, era of free market, and population explosion have increased the competition among youth for the share of limited resources. Today youth has to compete among the best in the world to survive and to get job in the market. Gone are the days when a person had to compete with the local population. Revolutions in the field of technology, internet and communication have unleashed the potential in the youth to be the best. Companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft etc. come all the way to India to recruit for their US branches. This is the glaring example of competition bringing opportunity among the youth.

Competition in itself brings enormous opportunities. It encourages innovation and continuous effort towards betterment. Increasing competition in the market and the society brings out the best in a person. A person at his best potential can bring out better solutions to the problems, like goods, technologies, services etc. Along with it, lacking competition can make person lazy and dull. So, competition is good for the society and individual as a whole.

Competition while bringing out best in the individual pressurizes him to perform. This leads to enormous mental and physical pressure. In the era of cut throat competition, ends achieved have become more important than means.

Sometimes, competition can increase animosity among individuals and can lead to bitter relationship. A person may choose unethical, immoral or illegal means to get ahead of others. Recently a photograph from Bihar, which showed people climbing over school building to aid in cheating their relatives. Similarly, Harshad Mehta and Satyam scam are few of the examples how a person can use illegal mean to get ahead of others.

So, in order to be mutually beneficial for the society and the individual, there must be means to ensure healthy and fair competition. Examination and other performance review mechanisms must bring and judge real talent in the individual. Similarly, regulations in the market must bring equal opportunity to talent, along with discouraging monopolistic tendencies. Moral and ethical lessons to the individual must encourage them to focus on the means along with the ends. In absence of which, the inherent meaning of competition facilitating improvement will hide behind the cut throat and rat race of this fast moving world, with increasing preference to ends rather than means.

So, yes, growing level of competition is good for the youth, when it is taken in positive spirit, to improve themselves rather than kicking behind others. Then only competition will bring fruits of innovation and betterment in the society.

Rahul Mishra