We faced this dilemma while growing up and now face it again as we try to guide the younger generation as to what is the right way of dealing with the world. The problem comes when the right way clashes with the favorable way. Social Continuum is a range of interaction styles that can be applied to deal with people around us. Not very difficult to guess, these social interaction means that either we can cooperate with each with other, compete with each other or have conflict with others. Cooperation sounds like a good word and it is indeed good but not applicable in all situations. Cooperation, which means working together towards a common goal adopting organized efforts, might not work in situations where demand outdoes supply such as facing competitive exams in which we have to compete with other to get through to the limited seats or compete in a job interview where only one or a few would get the coveted position/s. As for conflict, it is the direct opposite of cooperation and unlike competition which is an unconscious activity; conflict is a conscious process of opposition where one seeks to attain a certain goal at other’s expense. Cooperation, competition and conflict might look like a case the good, the bad and the ugly but more often than not, these approaches are picked up involuntarily even ‘conflict’. Come to think of it if someone wrongly encroaches on our property, fighting tooth and nail to get what rightfully belongs to us seems like the only way to be, even so conflicts can sometimes bring development and betterment to a grinding halt. The choice of right approach for social interaction is undoubtedly intricate; however the following points could be of some help in getting a better handle on situations:
1. True evolution is simply not achievable until the process is inclusive. No real development is possible in ‘beggar thy neighbor’ approach, i.e. in taking pleasure in other’s doom. Doom and gloom also have spillover effects.
2. Competition is indisputably a propelling force towards progress. If one abides by rules and ethics of competition, its force can’t be denied.
3. If competition is strictly done keeping others in mind, there might be a possibility that we get blinded towards what might lie beyond the limits set by others. Therefore, it is not a bad idea to compete with ourselves and cooperate with others.