As people we are pitted against each other, as women even more so.
As girls we are taught that we have to be prettier, smarter, more pure than other girls in order to secure our future.
As mothers we are taught to unravel what other mothers are doing so that we are right and they are wrong.
As older women we are taught that we are irrelevant and should disappear.
In all of these lessons we are pitted against one another, competing sometimes viciously. But here’s the thing there is no prize. We do not lift ourselves up by tearing others down.
I struggle with that lesson, there are times where I fail and analyse others lives and judge. But there is no reward in that, often it results in pulling myself apart, things I do wrong, things I don’t but should do.
In many aspects of life competition is healthy, it’s what has driven many great human achievements, but in this area it is insidious. There is no gain for competing to be the most compliant to societal values. Being true to ourselves and allowing others to be true to themselves is far more valuable than treading on each other to climb to the top. The sense of peace when competition and judgement dropped is alone worth opting out of the race. Even if there was nothing to be gained in supporting others it wouldn’t matter as there is less to be gained in racing to the top, because there is no prize other than a veneer of smug satisfaction to hide our own insecurities.
So why do we do it?
Why do we judge the girl who doesn’t sit to the side as a pretty decoration? The mother who has unruly children? The older woman who does not fade in to the background?
It’s so much easier to compete than to look at who we are, who we want to be and how to get from one to the other. Yet if we dropped the competition and supported each other how much easier would it be?
If you have a few minutes to spare I’d really appreciate your vote in Apartment Therapy’s Homies – Best Family and Kids Blog.
Voting for the first round ends on the 8th.