Imagine a world without competition, no winners or losers. Would anyone be motivated to work? To some, this sounds ideal, but competition is an essential component to any social structure. When we talk about sports, academics, or the business world, competition is the driving force that keeps us functioning at our best. Competition, in healthy amounts, is known to have several positive effects on children. Competition allows children to learn about their abilities and limitations, set goals, handle loss, and how to work with others. The lessons that children learn through competition stay with them throughout their lives and prove to be beneficial in academics and the workplace.
However, the world is quickly turning its back on the importance of competition. From schools eliminating the Valedictorian Award to the “everyone is a winner” motto used in most youth sports leagues, the diminishing value of competition in today’s world is evident. Some critics suggest that children should not be placed in scenarios that involve competition, as they signal out those who are more intelligent or more athletic than the rest. Critics feel eliminating competition will preserve confidence in youth, which also is essential to a child’s growth. Although the preservation of confidence is important in the development of children, the value of competition cannot be diminished in the process.
The benefits of competition may be most blatantly explained through the development of America. In the wake of World War II, the United States found itself in a struggle with the Soviet Union competing as the two superpowers in the world. The two countries vied for domination over the world’s beliefs as well as their economic policies. The ensuing battle would last for nearly fifty years. Over these years, both countries would make considerable advancements in technology and science.
Nothing captures the spirit of this competition quite like the “Space Race.” When we look at the archives of United States History, the Space Race is the term used to describe the brutal battle between the Soviet Union and the United States to explore space, the final frontier. In the Space Race, the two superpowers competed with one another for supremacy in spaceflight capability. In 1957, the Soviets launched a satellite, Sputnik I, into space. The launch of Sputnik is known to have sparked many of the developments in politics, science, technology, and military. Furthermore, the launch served to intensify the arms race and raise Cold War tensions (“The Launch of Sputnik”). The innate sense of competition within the United States led to the moon landing in 1969. Had either the Soviet Union or the United States stood alone atop the world, advancements like these would not have been made. Although they are bitter enemies, the United States has the Soviet Union to thank for their propulsion into the world’s greatest super power. The pressure that the Soviets applied during the late nineteenth...