Neil Tambe

Husband, Father, Citizen, Professional.

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

A different game

Saying the internet has made the world more economically competitive is now a cliché. Duh. No kidding.

What’s slightly less cliché is pointing out it has made many other, formerly not so competitive, things much more competitive, too. The status of job title, more competitive. How pious and religiously aligned we are, more competitive. How we vacation, more competitive.

How many house projects we are able to do compared to our neighbor, more competitive. How angelic and intelligent our kids are, more competitive. How finely tuned our political sensibilities are, more competitive. How charitable and socially conscious we are, more competitive. Demonstrating the quality of our friendships and family relationships, more competitive. Signaling how difficult and woeful our struggles are, more competitive. Even mastery of esoteric hobbies - like parkour, dog training, and unicycle juggling - is more competitive.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but this perpetual competition for all dimensions of social status grinds on me. No wonder it’s so easy to feel like a loser, stressed, or worse.

I think the only way out of this is to play a different game than king of the hill. Or perhaps more accurately no game at all. Maybe just sharing the best we have to offer, in our own niche, and getting better at it. Maybe just building upon who we were yesterday.