Competition: the Rhubarb Connection

13 Jan


In a book I read awhile ago by Gary Zukav (“The Seat of the Soul”), he suggested competition was the root of violence.   I didn’t understand this when I read it, so it stuck with me.  We compete in horse shows and fairs, and I wasn’t sure how that related to violence.   Our competition involves prancing horses or growing vegetables that compete against other people’s vegetables.  Last year I grew leeks that outdid all other members of the onion family to win the Big Rainbow Ribbon of onions at our community fair.  But I suffered humiliation at the hands of my rhubarb, which received a red danish.

I woke up today finally getting the competition/onion family/prancing horse/violence/rhubarb connection.  It is strange to perform and rank other humans against each other and give some a big prize and put them in descending order.  Or put their work or vegetables in descending order.  No human being is more important or less important than any other.

Do animals compete in nature?  Sure they fight and battle and have dominance and territory.  But they don’t  wreak the violence that humans have done on a large scale across the planet.  They don’t accumulate power beyond what is necessary for survival.

I am not going to stop taking part in shows or putting my rhubarb on the spot at the fair, but I will stop competing.  I am going to work on participating with a different frame of mind.  Maybe I’ll stop competing entirely in the future.  I’m pondering and still not sure where this will lead.  There’s something bigger at work in the world and a change of consciousness is pretty much the only thing capable of saving our world.


4 Responses to “Competition: the Rhubarb Connection”

  1. Carol Weinstock January 13, 2014 at 9:39 pm #


  2. Sparrowgrass January 14, 2014 at 6:01 am #

    Yes it is strange to rank humans like this. And a competition score doesn’t mean anything. I know it’s childish to say “it’s not fair” but it isn’t- we’re all so different that how can we be measured against the same goal and it mean anything? People lose their perspective over trying to win something and lose sight of how much they’ve achieved. The person who comes second may have overcome much more and so achieved much more that the person who comes first.

    • A New Path January 14, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

      That’s very insightful, Sparrowgrass. That is so true. At one show, I was driving against a pro trainer with a champion horse. It was a little fun show and I came in second to her in a big class with my backyard horse. But I still thought we had done a good job (not as well as her drive, just the best we could do). The ranking and points always kind of stressed me out- I think because of that inherent sense it doesn’t tell the whole story. The prize is for one judge’s opinion in one moment of time. And nothing in time is truly lasting or truly fair– it just is part of our ever-changing material world. But showing can be fun if it is all taken for what it is and to keep personal goals and see what the judge thinks. But now that I’ve pondered this, ranking people is TRULY weird to me and I can never look at the point lists the same way again.

  3. tbnranch January 17, 2014 at 7:47 am #

    You make a good point… certainly something to ponder over. 🙂

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