When I go to work, I feel my spirit get up off the floor, onto its knees and then it’s feet, and then fly into skies of happiness and inner congruence. Work is where people are respectful to others. If not they disappear. (i.e. They’re fired.) They do their chores and sometimes even with pleasure. I am less often reminded of the fine line between success and failure, and I can always find my scissors, tape and stapler. I’m sitting at home now, letting out a dreamy sigh. Ah.
Why do we treat strangers so well and our family not so well? Why do we give our best where our best is valued only as much as the going rate of gold and
John Tauer, Ph.D. states that coöperation and competition are not an either or. He tells us from 4 years of research at basketball summer camps that the effects of combining coöperation with competition (intergroup competition) is much more powerful than either one alone. In other words, individuals competing isn’t as fun or successful as a group of people competing against another group of people (i.e. teams.) I propose that this might be part of the play in the difference between home and out of home behaviors.
In the home, we tend to see ourselves as individuals maybe even competing against each other. Out of the home, we ally with others whom we can work with to compete against others. We bring our best to the playing field perhaps.
In The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss, we see a family who is marooned, cooperating as a team against dangerous elements (intergroup competition) to survive. They have so much fun doing it that when rescue finally comes, nothing could entice them to leave their happy treehouse.
We see other examples of this (intergroup competition) when a family member gets sick and everyone rally’s to fight the disease together. I wonder how we can do that good stuff without having to wreck a ship or fight cancer. I’d like to give my best to my husband and kids every day. The fraternities, the gangs, the undying lure of neighborhood rivalries, reality TV show Survivor – all show us that this intergroup competition is pleasurable and effective.
Question: Have you experienced this kind of success in your own home? Please tell me your story.
Self Care Tip #57 – Bring your best to the people you love. Be a friend to yourself.