Competition and blinders

Competition for resources and opportunities is a reality we cannot escape.

But are we missing the big picture and many opportunities as we rush to compete and jostle along with the crowd? Do we have to all run the same races?

I firmly believe that blind competition blinds people to emerging opportunities. A healthy distaste for competition is good ( a lesson I first learnt in my school – Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, Delhi).

Furthermore, you are a reflection of the choices you make. It is important to shape your own future and not necessarily follow the crowd.

Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken”  is something that reminds me of this regularly: ( )

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost



Learning goals for primary school children

For a moment, let us leave aside what formal education contributes to a child. Here is what my wife and I had set as simple goals for our son:

  • Habit of reading
  • Writing as a means to think, clarify thoughts and communicate
  • Comfort with numbers/ maths and logical thinking
  • General awareness and information pool to draw from
  • Play team sports; aspire to excel; work as a team
  • Learn consistent practice, discipline and persistent pursuit in a few interest areas
  • Simple and direct experiences (not merely electronically or secondary)