Every year I participate and practice speeches for a local competition within my religious community; it is quite an amusing time however, there is one thing I feel like others should understand. In my eyes, there is no competition. Being awarded for participation is a bonus to these kinds of experiences because for me, if I do not gain more knowledge or if I cannot reflect, it is a total loss. I mean, of course the entire process of seeking material to create a speech is beneficial but I would much rather attend these events to gain different perspectives on different topics.
My approach revolves around learning more than you did before and being generally content with a pocket full of knowledge to implement into your daily life. I thoroughly enjoy learning new things that either conflict or agree with my own views, plus being exposed to different references that I did not know of before are, well, just plain awesome.
Since it is religion based, everything is faith inspiring. Recitation of the Holy Book, recitation of poetry, memorization of prayers, deliverance of speeches on a variety of topics, it is all worth acknowledging for the mere development of the self. I want to build myself thus I will learn and listen. If I was more concerned about winning prizes then I would be asking all the wrong kind of questions.
“Did you win anything?”
“Don’t worry, you haven’t got much competition”
“Dang, how the heck am I supposed to beat her?”
“She’s my biggest competition”
Ask me not these questions, instead ask, “What did you learn?”. “Anything interesting you came across?”.
Competition is good every once and while because you tend to improve yourself and prepare better for the next time but there are greater purposes that take a little bit more time to understand. The mere realization that your effort put in this year was a lot more improved than the last, is quite an achievement. I dare not wish to come across as ungrateful; I am just grateful for a different set of things. Being grateful for the ability to participate, being grateful for being present and supporting others, and being grateful for those whose hard work paid off, is what I tend to be grateful for. Like I said before, winning prizes is just a bonus.
Learn and grow with the knowledge you absorb, let not your ego rise above all and constrict you from a greater picture.