Competitiveness

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always hated competitions.

When I say I hate competitions, I don’t just mean I hated sports day at school (I did though). I have always found that there is always someone better than me. Or someone who knows exactly how to play on my insecurities in order to beat me.

I remember being in primary school and it was sports day. Neither of my parents were there due to work (sadly something that happened a lot). I was doing the bean bag race and I wasn’t very good. The headteacher gave me a card for effort though. I gave this to my team lead and went and hid at the back. My team didn’t win and it stayed that way all through secondary school as well.

The only thing I ever did seem to get is merits for doing well in certain subjects, but as I wasn’t the only one who got these and other people got more than me.  You needed to get six good slips per merit. At one point, I was so embarrassed I wouldn’t even hand my good slips in just to avoid that conversation in front of my entire form. I think this must have cost me a half a dozen merits or so at school.

I was badly bullied at school and as I got older, this bullying just turned into girls bitching about me behind my back. I’m not going to say I haven’t done this myself, but I’m the kind of person you either love or you hate and most people tend to dislike me.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with competitiveness. Well, people always want to be better than you and want to make feel you small. This is something I feel a lot.

I don’t like it when people try and make competitions out of things, because I’m never good enough and people like to gloat. Even if I try, I know it won’t be enough so what’s the point? All that happens, is that I get left feeling deflated.

Competition comes in different forms. People compete over who have the best car, most money, holidays etc. Some people want to show off what they have got to make you feel worse. This is the kind of competitiveness that really stings for me.

Growing up, we didn’t always have a lot. I’m not saying that I went without, because I didn’t. Between my parents and grandparents I was pretty spoilt. But there was a limit to this. We didn’t have fancy holidays abroad and I couldn’t have all the merchandise for all the books, films etc that I was obsessed with.

This made it really hard when you see other people with this stuff. I would have done anything to be able to go to all the concerts I wanted and collect all the merchandise I could.

This still stands today. I can afford to buy a lot more, but bills and stuff still come first. It kills me when I see things on Facebook sometimes. Especially when you feel like they are doing it deliberately to show off.

It makes me want to withdraw and not tell anyone anything. It makes me feel like I’m not good enough.

 

 

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“Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

This quote is one that I remember from my history lessons at school. Now I have loved history ever since I was about nine years old, so I excelled in my history lessons. I think my teachers would agree with that. They would probably also say that I would have done better if I had been more confident and willing to put myself forward. I may know the answers, but they didn’t know that I knew the answers! An issue that unfortunately did follow me to University, but I like to think I’m improving.

Anyway, this is not about my school days. This is about today’s youth. Unfortunately someone in the local area has defaced a War Memorial. I can only guess why – boredom, a dare, they thought it was funny, they didn’t realise, or maybe they just don’t care. The worse thing about this for me, is that it’s not that uncommon any more. They are reports every year of people urinating on War Memorials, breaking them down, tagging them. And every year, people are in uproar about it.

Clearly though, our outcries over this are not making a difference. Which begs the question, what more can be done? It worries me when you speak to young teenagers and they don’t know World War One from World War Two. They don’t know who Hitler was or Churchill (a personal favourite). To me those figures are people that everyone knows, or at least knows the name of them.

If it was up to me, I would sit these young teenagers down and not let them leave until they had memorised all these facts. Until they know the causes of World War One and Two. Until they could tell me the difference between the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance. I wouldn’t let them leave until they finally understand the sacrifices people made so that we could live in a world with democracy.

I feel sorry for the teenagers that do know because they are now going to be tarnished with the same brush. I’ve been there. Not too long ago, people all assumed that my friends and I were like other teenagers our age.  And can you blame them? A small selection of people are making it harder for everyone.

This leads to my final point. How are these youths going to be found and punished? Personally I think schools and colleges should get involved in helping with this. As should parents. It must be difficult to think that you child could be responsible, but a responsible parents would want their child to be honest and admit what they have done.

This may come across as a rant and I don’t mean it to, but it upsets me to think that they are people in this area that could do this. You read about it in other places, but you never expect it on your own doorstep. I had relatives fight in both World Wars and I am eternally grateful for them fighting so essentially, we could have our freedom. Other people should be grateful too.