A rival is different from enemy. We want to get better than our rival, but we want to pull down our enemy! I was fortunate enough to have a perfect made for each other rivalry, for four years – from 7th Std to 10th Std.
In the place where I grew up, we were judged based on our academic performance (marks, rank) and some presence in sports/ extra-curricular activities. But marks always came first. In the very first Mid-term examination, both of us got the same total marks and hence the same rank (7th Rank) – What a start to the rivalry!
After that, my mother used to ask his rank and marks and his mother used to ask my rank and marks, after every examination. They used to compare us and the rivalry got even more interesting because of this.
At the outset, we were friends and along with another common friend, all three of us used to hang out together. But actually, the rivalry was always there and we used to compare each other in every activity (academics, sports, extra-curricular), that we were involved in.
Surprisingly, we had only two common areas where the rivalry was openly visible – Academics and Cricket. We always tried to out-do each other in every exam and every cricket match (sometimes, in-spite of playing in the same team).
In all other areas, we had different interests. I used to participate in skits, essay competitions but he was not involved in them. He used to make some scientific project models, and learned to play the musical instrument Violin, but I was not involved in them. He was more interested in Table-Tennis and I was more interested in Shuttle (badminton).
The concept of having a healthy rivalry is actually good. One always wants to get better than the other and hence both the persons keep improving in every activity both of them get into. The cricket rivalry between India and Pakistan is a good example. The rivalry that existed between the United States and USSR during the cold war is another good example.
When rivalry becomes enmity, it hurts. For example, if I try to run him out in a cricket match by calling him from the non-strikers end and not running (for example) (or) if he doesn’t give me his notes before an examination (for the portion that I didn’t have), it would have created unfair competition. And fortunately both of us were not interested in such activities.
Enemies want to deny fair competition and subjugate the other, but rivals help each other to create an equal ground, and then compete. Enmity holds back development for both the parties involved but rivalry improves the skills of both the parties involved.
So, isn’t it important for us to empower our rival and play fair so that both of us grow together and achieve new heights?
The recent events that happened between India and Pakistan is extremely encouraging – India supporting Pakistan’s bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council and Pakistan giving the Most Favored Nation status to India. Before this, our foreign policy was to oppose their every move and their’s was to oppose our every move. Whom did it benefit?
In the context of creating a healthy rivalry, don’t you think it is important for India to contribute to the growth of Pakistan and empower them as much as possible?
PS: One of the best stories of empowering a rival and creating a fair ground can be found here. So, who wants to become my rival blog? 🙂