Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Competition

"Contempt of all outward things that come in competition with duty fulfills the ideal of human greatness. It is sanctioned by conscience, that universal and eternal lawgiver, whose chief principle is, that everything must be yielded up for right." - William Ellery Channing

"The adult world is... built on the shifting grounds of friendship and competition. The double message of this society and economy are to get along and get ahead. We want our children to fit in and to stand out. We rarely address the conflict between these goals." - Ellen Goodman

"The only competition worthy of a wise man is with himself." - Anna Jameson

"There is no rule of fairness or reasonableness which regulates competition." - John G. Johnson and John G. Milburn

"... an emerging world based on cooperation rather than on competition, on affirmation rather than on competition, on affirmation of the human spirit rather than on self-doubt, and on the certainty that all humanity is connected." - Hal and Linda Kramer

"The best of us still have our aspirations for the supreme goals of life, which is so often mocked by prosperous people who now control the world. We still believe that the world has a deeper meaning than what is apparent, and that therein the human soul finds its ultimate harmony and peace. We still know that only in spiritual wealth does civilization attain its end, not in a prolific production of materials, and not in the competition of intemperate power with power." -

"Competition, which is the instinct of selfishness, is another word for dissipation of energy, while combination is the secret of efficient production." - Edward Bellamy

"I have never known a concern to make a decided success that did not do good, honest work, and even in these days of fiercest competition, when everything would seem to be a matter of price, there lies still at the root of great business success the very much more important factor of quality. The effect of attention to quality, upon every man in the service, from the president of the concern down to the humblest laborer, cannot be overestimated." - Andrew Carnegie

"While the law (of competition) may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is the best for the race, because it insures the survival of the fittest in every department." - Andrew Carnegie

"That is the happiest conversation where there is no competition, no vanity, but a calm quiet interchange of sentiments." -

"Don't knock your competitors. By boosting others you will boost yourself. A little competition is a good thing and severe competition is a blessing." -

"Every sect is a moral check on its neighbor. Competition is as wholesome in religion as in commerce." - Walter Savage Landor

"Liberty and Equality are the twin ideals of American democracy. But they are not the same thing... Many person who would gladly die for liberty are appalled by equality. Many who are devoted to equality are puzzled and even troubled by liberty. Much of the political history of the American nation can be seen as a competition between these two ideals." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan, aka "Pat"

"Insatiable ambition, the thirst of raising their respective fortunes, not so much from real want as from the desire to surpass others, inspired all men with a vile propensity to injure one another, and with a secret jealousy, which is the more dangerous, as it puts on the mask of benevolence, to carry its point with greater security. In a word, there arose rivalry and competition on the one hand, and conflicting interests on the other, together with a secret desire on both of profiting at the expense of others. All these evils were the first effects of property, and the inseparable attendants of growing inequality." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"The white man’s civilization with its inhuman economic competition and rugged individualism has produced millions of physical and mental wrecks. It has produced enough vices to fill Dante’s hell. Nine-tenths of the people who reach forty are suffering from shattered nerves." - Melvin Tolson, fully Melvin Beaunorus Tolson

"We talk about a space race. There is a space race down here on the ground. In this race every human being is superpower and the competition no longer stands a chance. Other species are bound to this or that patch of turf, and this planet. We feel bound to no patch of turn on Earth, bound only for the stars. We sacrifice a marsh, a bay, a park, a lake. We sacrifice a sparrow. We trade one countdown for another." - Jonathan Weiner

"People who lead fulfilling lives generally have found a sense of “home” in what they do. They have a philosophy of life that connects them to a larger vision. They accept that life is a continuing challenge. More often than not, they are able to live according to their own schedules, choosing work that is interesting and complex enough to keep them engaged. They get excited about being effective and about being stretched to learn new things. They have a few good friends who understand their vision and perhaps even share common aspirations. They are not driven by urgency, competition, or the demands of the ego." - Carol Adrienne

"What is wrong with our culture is that it often offers us an inaccurate conception of the self. It depicts the personal self as existing in competition with and in opposition with and in opposition to nature. We thereby fail to realize that if we destroy our environment, we are destroying what is in fact our larger self." - Robert E. Carter, fully Robert Edgar Carter

"The principle of competition appears to be nothing more than a partially conventionalized embodiment of primeval selfishness... the supremacy of the motive of self-interest... The Christian conscience can be satisfied with nothing less than the complete substitution of motives of mutual helpfulness and goodwill for the motive of private gain." - Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America NULL

"Our society has progressed largely because of our creativity and inquisitiveness – and because we’re competitive. We’re driven by the desire to develop products and services which are more ingenious than what others have put forth. Competition is inherently good, but when it is tainted with excess greed or negative motives, there can be harmful results. How we compete is very important to our Souls." - Tom Gregory

"Competition, the wringing of success from somebody’s failure." - Jules Henry

"The only competition worthy of a wise man is with himself." - Anna Jameson, fully Anna Brownell Jameson

"The press has its own version of Gresham’s Law: the tendency, in the competition for readers, to let the scandalous and sensational drive out serious news." - Anthony Lewis

"Just as the unity of human society cannot be built upon class warfare, so the proper ordering of economic affairs cannot be left to free competition alone." -

"Many Americans draw the boundaries of their self-interest very narrowly. Our culture's emphasis on individualism and competition reinforces an attitude of isolation and impotence toward global problems." - Betsy Taylor

"The Eskimos don't believe in competition. They don't believe in envy. They believe in sharing." - Judy Wicks

"This sharpening of skills is the real value of competition. Many have lost sight of the purpose of healthy competition, which helps us to draw forth inner strength and encourages us to transcend our ideas of personal limitation. The real competition, however, is within the person, and not between people... In essence, competition is cooperation." - Alan Cohen

"This sharpening of skills is the real value of competition. Many have lost sight of the purpose of healthy competition, which helps us to draw forth inner strength and encourages us to transcend our ideas of personal limitation. The real competition, however, is within the person, and not between people... In essence, competition is cooperation." -

"This sharpening of skills is the real value of competition. Many have lost sight of the purpose of healthy competition, which helps us to draw forth inner strength and encourages us to transcend our ideas of personal limitation. The real competition, however, is within the person, and not between people... In essence, competition is cooperation." -

"Terror has its inspiration, as well as competition." - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

"Almost all education has a political motive: It aims at strengthening some group, national or religious or even social, in the competition with other groups. It is the motive, in the main, which determines the subjects taught, the knowledge offered and the knowledge withheld, and also decides what mental habits the pupils are expected to acquire. Hardly anything is done to foster the inward growth of mind and spirit; in fact, those who have most education are very often atrophied in their mental and spiritual life." - Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

"Thought is free when it is exposed to free competition among beliefs, i.e., when all beliefs are able to state their case, and no legal or pecuniary advantages or disadvantages attach to beliefs." - Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

"Dialogue, trust and collaboration rooted in humanitarian competition, a competition in self-mastery - this is the basis on which a global society can be built, a global civilization for the twenty-first century." - Daisaku Ikeda

"In competition for prestige it seems only sensible to try to perfect our image rather than ourselves. That seems the most economical, direct way to produce the desired result. Accustomed to live in a world of pseudo-events, celebrities, dissolving forms, and shadowy but overshadowing images, we mistake our shadows for ourselves. To us they seem more real than the reality." - Daniel Boorstin, fully Daniel Joseph Boorstin

"Do your work with your whole heart, and you will succeed - there's so little competition." - Elbert Green Hubbard

"Goodwill is the one and only asset that competition cannot undersell nor destroy." - Marshall Field

"Evolution is the result of competition between organisms for the energy required for survival... If there is any meaning to the past, it is to be found in the increase in the complexity of material structures and information over time" - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, native form is Csíkszentmihályi Mihály

"When men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas - that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

"The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

"The ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas [and] the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

"Knowledge is not a series of self-consistent theories that converges toward an ideal view; it is rather an ever increasing ocean of mutually incompatible (and perhaps even incommensurable) alternatives, each single theory, each fairy tale, each myth that is part of the collection forcing the others into greater articulation and all of them contributing, via this process of competition to the development of our consciousness." - Paul Feyerabend, fully Paul Karl Feyerabend

"We have to treat others as part of who awe are, rather than as a ‘them’ with whom we are in constant competition." - Robert Bellah, fully Robert Neelly Bellah

"Certainly the highest and dearest concerns of a temporal life are infinitely less valuable than those of an eternal; and consequently ought, without any demur at all, to be sacrificed to them, whenever they come in competition." -

"Reflection makes men cowards. There is no object that can be put in competition with life, unless it is viewed through the medium of passion, and we are hurried away by the impulse of the moment." - William Hazlitt

"The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting above average effort. " - Colin Powell, fully Colin Luther Powell

"All, all is theft, all is unceasing and rigorous competition in nature; the desire to make off with the substance of others is the foremost -- the most legitimate -- passion nature has bred into us and, without doubt, the most agreeable one." - Marquis de Sade, born Donatien Alphonse François de Sade

"We have overdeveloped the individualism that arose in a pioneer country. We are destined to become more co-operative, more collectivistic, and to find in this direction still greater opportunity for the individual, not so much restricted and defeated by competition but enlarged and enhanced by the support of a common will. It may be that the problem of material goods--of the necessary but yet external goods of food, clothing, shelter, and money-is about to be solved through new discoveries and developments, with the energies of men left freer than they have ever been to cultivate on higher levels the sharable goods of life, such as love and wisdom. These values grow with use and multiply by being freely shared." -

"The game of status seeking, organized around committees, is played in roughly the same fashion in Africa and in America and in the Soviet Union. Perhaps the aptitude for this game is a part of our genetic inheritance, like the aptitude for speech and for music. The game has had profound consequences for science. In science, as in the quest for a village water supply, big projects bring enhanced status; small projects do not. In the competition for status, big projects usually win, whether or not they are scientifically justified. As the committees of academic professionals compete for power and influence, big science becomes more and more preponderant over small science. The large and fashionable squeezes out the small and unfashionable. The space shuttle squeezes out the modest and scientifically more useful expendable launcher. The Great Observatory squeezes out the Explorer. The centralized adduction system squeezes out the village well. Fortunately, the American academic system is pluralistic and chaotic enough that first-rate small science can still be done in spite of the committees. In odd corners, in out-of the-way universities, and in obscure industrial laboratories, our Fulanis are still at work. " - Freeman John Dyson

"Pride is an admission of weakness; it secretly fears all competition and dreads all rivals. " - Fulton Sheen, fully Archbishop Fulton John Sheen

"Live daringly, boldly, fearlessly. Taste the relish to be found in competition - in having put forth the best within you. " - Henry J. Kaiser