This-essay is a8409241.htm which is available at the web-site www.essayz.com. See more notes at the bottom. Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay By-Months By-Years By-Words Webs of Like-&-Un-Like ESSAYS <==> Like-&-UN-Like This-One ========================================================== %PUSHING TO OUR EXTREME LIMITS 840924 We often find meaning and satisfaction in the achievement of extremes: climbing the highest mountain, being the fastest in a race, lifting the biggest weight, driving the biggest car, living in the biggest house, earning the most money, spending the most money, etc. Our competitive spirit drives us to find meaning and satisfaction in being different by achieving some extreme limit of human capacity. The more we compare ourselves with large numbers of people, the more our competitive spirit drives us to extremes in our search for recognition. We easily become the victims of an uncritical competitive spirit which does not truly evaluate the humane worth of extreme achievements. If more than a few people can achieve distinction and human recognition in each kind of competitive exercise, then the competitive spirit leads us to compete in finding new ways to push ourselves to extreme limits---without regard to the inherent value of our competitive accomplishments. We go to foolish extremes in search of a way to win recognition to overcome our loneliness in the crowds of accomplished people. This foolishness continues because we give too little recognition to people who cooperate in achieving what is worth-while because it helps to strengthen the human community. The cure for competitive foolishness to which loneliness drives us---is to banish the loneliness of people who achieve inherently worth-while goals in cooperative ways. In this way we help cure both our own, and their loneliness. It is hard to overcome loneliness through competitive achievements which drive us to try to be different--- because we must therein seek the recognition of those people who are trying to be different in the same way as we are; others are likely to regard us as merely weird. Since competition drives us into narrow specialization, we are driven to seek the recognition of the small fraction of all people who respect our area of specialization---those very people who want to be better than us. When our competitive spirit divides us to foolish extremes which undermine our personal and communal integrity, it does not serve us well. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in www.essayz.com Search for Integrity and Honesty (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================Lines beginning with a percent sign are KEYWORDS for use in ESSAY-System Searches. Their terminal digits are dates of writing in the format @yymmdd#, where @ = a means 99, @ = b means 20, and # = is a within-date essay-count. Links to date-adjacent essays are near page top & bottom.
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