On friendly competition
You don't have to go at it alone
Lately, I’ve been hooked on The Great British Bake-Off, a TV series where 12 amateur bakers compete for the title of Greatest British Baker. Each hour-long episode is a delight to watch; the hosts are hilarious, the judges tough but fair, and the bakers filled with determination. I’m always amazed by the creativity, and equally so, by the competitive spirit unique to the show.
Although each baker has worked hard to make it onto the show and are after the same title, they still befriend each other. If another baker experiences a crisis in the kitchen, often a fellow contestant will step in and attempt to help out. And, no one ever puts someone else’s craft down.
It’s a refreshing way to look at competition: striving to win, but not to beat. Season after season I see the beauty of these bakers trying their best while also bettering their peers in the process. Achievements and disasters are collectively celebrated and grieved, and no matter the outcome, the bakers leave with 11 new friends and pride for participating in such a special event.
Competition doesn’t have to be a zero sum game, and it doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor. When we win, we can bring others with us. And when others win, we can share in their joy.
In the end, we’re in it together.