In ancient times, competition in sports was a lot different than it is now. Even hundreds of years ago, the typical court was a rectangle with a line bisecting it, and a circle in the middle, just like in today’s hockey or basketball.
Only the game had a different flavor. The circle in the middle of the court represented where the Gods would come down and give blessings to the tribe. Two teams entertained the crowds, represented the tribe, and co-petitioned the Gods for blessings.
Co-Petition means to work together towards a common outcome. Although the two opposing teams kept score and battled valiantly, it was not adversarial.
Somewhere along the way, co-petition became competition. And somewhere along the way we all treat our relationships as competitions with winners and losers, a battle to be won or lost.
The casualties of relationship competition are everywhere, and I have a dream to change that through compassion.
Compassion is similar to co-petition. It means “co-suffer.” Compassion is intended to be about struggling with others toward a common goal. Not against.
We need more compassion in the world. What if we approached conflict as an opportunity to struggle with others towards a common goal? What if we refused to de-humanize those who are different and sought instead find ways to work together?
Diversity is built into our world. It’s a natural part of our existence. So it’s inevitable that conflict will happen. I want to believe that if diversity is natural and OK, and if conflict is inevitable, then conflict is also natural and OK and has a purpose.
The purpose of conflict is to create. Compassion is how we can realize that purpose.
What could compassion do for you in 2019?
Things to ponder
- What could you help create if you struggled with people instead of against them?
- What conflicts in your life could be turned around in 2019?