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Luke A. Morris

Ap Language

Mrs. Crandall 2nd

18 December 2019

Competition in Life

According to Alfie Kohn, “competition in human terms is incalculable…destined never

to enjoy real satisfaction.”. I strongly disagree with Kohn’s claim because to me competition is

exciting and good for your spirit. Competing with a team develops social and cooperative skills

unlike any other activity that are essential to being successful in life. Competing alone against

another person teachers the skill of learning from mistakes and never giving up. Just because

someone is “always one step higher” in a competition according to Kohn doesn’t mean the other

person is always one step lower, and to be honest there is never a certainty of who is in which


When I think of competition the only thing that comes to my mind is sports. Of course,

there are a lot of other forms of competition but not quite like sports. The focus in sports is to

compete and become the best player you can possibly be. Kohn thinks of competition where

somebody is always better than the other person and that when you lose it is a failure. That is not

the right attitude or outlook to have. When you lose it is a gift, a chance for you to learn and

become better. Kohn also says that when he competes, he is “thus perpetually insecure

and…perpetually anxious” and this is not the right feeling to have either. Obviously, sometimes

when you are competing, there is anxiety but that is not an issue. It is completely normal, but that
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means you need to compete more and learn how to use that anxiousness to your advantage

without insecurities.

In my experience and my free time, I love to play sports. Competing in basketball,

playing tennis, or having fun with any sport gives me happiness. I love to play and see where I

rank and where I need to improve in everything even if I am not good. Alfie Kohn says, “I am

caught on a treadmill, designed never to enjoy real satisfaction.” which does not make sense in

terms of sports at all. A lot of people that have dedicated their life to playing golf believe that

there is nothing more satisfying than getting a hole in one or making a basket in basketball.

These actions are incredibly satisfying and unmatched in terms of the real world. Satisfaction is

in all aspects a feeling depending on opinion, but there is no argument that when your on a team

and the game is on the line and you clutch up, it isn’t satisfying.

Overall, I know that sports are not for everybody, as well as some people who don’t like

playing against other people or playing in general. I completely understand why but that doesn’t

mean competition is a bad thing. There are so many people in the world that have competed in in

something and it has changed their life for the better. Competition teaches certain life skills that

aren’t taught anywhere else and it drives improvement. The United States of America might not

of made it to the Moon by now if it weren’t for the “Space Race”, the competition to get on the

Moon. There is no cost on competition if you don’t let there be, to compete is a great action that

develops social, mental, and sometimes physical strength.