Forget dog eat dog world, we live in a man eat man world.
You cannot go a day without feeling the competition from your peers. I know I constantly feel the pressure to outdo those around me. From birth, we are thrust into this chaotic world where your success is measured in comparison to other people.
Maybe this stems from America’s capitalistic nature, but I think it’s just a natural instinct to want to rise to the top. Unfortunately, getting to the top means trampling everyone else. Don’t get me wrong, I think a little competition is fun, but competition often gets to the point where people aren’t even enjoying what they are doing anymore. It’s a sad truth and one that is especially prevalent to me.
My high school ranks all of the seniors according to GPA. Of course, this only fosters contempt and fierce competition among the students. Everyone wants to know who is in the top 5? Or, who do I have to surpass to get into the top 5? The ranking system has nothing to do with how intelligent these students are, but rather how many AP classes can one student cram into four years of high school. It used to be that if you enjoyed the subject and wanted to be challenged, then you take the AP course. Now, students take as many AP courses as possible to make sure they are still college competitive.
I wish this wasn’t the case. I wish success was measured based on the happiness of the individual. Why should we care what those around us are achieving? As long as we are satisfied with our accomplishments, that should be enough. But alas, we have seemed to regress to a more primitive state of mind. We now act like cannibals who see others as prey to take down to satiate our own hunger.
Perhaps we should all practice a little more restraint the next time we want to go in for the kill.