Collaboration vs. competition

Collaboration vs. competition

Which world do you live in: one in which people get along and work together or one in which “survival of the fittest” is the theme? Your answer to this question most likely is an indicator of your current level of happiness.  Please take a minute to find some paper and a writing utensil for today’s art directive. Think of where you spend most of your day. Make an image of a symbol representing you in the middle of the page. Your symbol might represent the role you play in your setting. Please think of the other main people you surround yourself with in your daily environment. Take a minute to think of each person as a symbol. Symbols can be powerful images which translate complicated ideas into a visual concept.  This simple art directive can speak volumes about your current predicament. Is there a main source of stress, or one person altering the mood of your setting? Is there anything you can do to alter the mood or change the dynamics?

If your current setting is one with fierce competition, this might be a source of stress. It turns out that humans and animals are really wired for a world in which collaboration is the guiding principle. In our early 21st century worldview, we might be seeing a slight paradigm shift towards this style of thinking and living, even on the playground and in wildly popular apps like “Minecraft”.  Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” original theme of evolution has really been mangled to fit the needs of a late 20th century line of Western thinking, highlighting the supposed norms of greed and massive income inequality. He did not actually coin this phrase, and felt very uncomfortable with it being connected to his work. Let’s just all be friends….it’s how we are wired.

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