Lola’s POV: Collaboration vs. Competition


Goethe, once said: “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of being.” A quote that warmed my heart and hit close to home. This world has become one of judgment and competition when we should be focusing on climbing to the top… and bringing along as many people as we can, because when we get scared of heights, who’s going to be with us to remind us how far we made it.

When we’re little we’re taught that playing the game is just for fun. As we grow older we’re taught to focus, so we can play a good game. We grow even older and we’re taught to ignore others, to focus on ourselves, and play to win. The dynamic changes as we begin to see other successful people with the same goal as a threat instead of a resource to help us reach our goals quicker. We’re taught to compete rather than to collaborate based on a fear that people who have a stronger drive or potential are going to make it further.

My generation is one of hardworking, thriving, and dedicated individuals. We strive to accomplish more, to make others proud, to prove others wrong, to show that we are young but we are capable of carrying forward a bright future with dreams and hopes and plans that we made happen. We don’t want to be labeled as who we are when we are young; a girl, a 4.0, a hotshot, a drama queen, a scholarship to an Ivy League college – we are so much more than that. We are the hard work and the effort that we put forth in the world and the future beyond us.

Don’t try to instill in us the notion that we should hold each other back, when we should be pushing each other forward, making progress together instead of fighting over who makes it big first. We never asked for this urge to become successful. We were built to succeed and to make a point that with hard work comes great responsibility and we are the poster kids for #winning. We are capable of becoming great without any help from any higher authority that tells us what we can and can’t do, instead; support us. As simple as that.

Help make that change by not belittling us and our abilities and giving us the opportunity to educate, advocate, and create. Your support is needed to help innovative teens and tweens to continue to blossom in a world of future leaders. Don’t see us as who we are, see us as the person we have the potential to become, and don’t kill the little kid that might still live inside us, from helping his or her friend make it to the end of the race. Sometimes it’s not about making it first, but about the people you bring along with you, and who have made it one heck of a ride.

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