Since ancient times, people have been drawn to competition. In the first century A.D., thousands flocked to Rome to witness gladiators fighting to the death in the Colosseum. In modern times, the violence has dwindled, but the impact competition has on society is still present. This past February, it was reported that 800 million people around the world watched the Super Bowl on TV. Professional athletes dedicate their whole lives to achieve success in their sport.
There are many other reasons why people engage in competition. It brings them together through cooperation and hard work. It builds lifelong friendships among teammates. It’s the excitement of sitting around the TV with your best friends, enjoying cold beverages as your favorite team advances to the Final Four. It’s in the dugout at the World Series among the baseball players whose eyes are glued to the field. It’s the feeling of adrenaline pumping through the veins, of sweat dripping down the forehead, the joy of winning and the agony of defeat. These feelings are found on the soccer field at the World Cup. They’re found in living rooms, back yards and parking lots. Many people can experience these feelings in one way or another because competition doesn’t come in one form, expression, gesture or uniform. Competing can be grueling and painful, but as it brings people together, it becomes apparent that the most enjoyable aspect of competition is that it’s fun.