Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Cooperation v/s Competition

Sadly, I am nomore a MENtor! [:(] (Deva can empathize best!) Yesterday, I happened to attend the Annual Felicitation Program of ISMP (Institute Student Mentor Program). The program started with Lunch followed by a panel discussion on the Future of DAMPs (Department Academic Mentorship Program). I was amongst the 6 panelists and thoroughly enjoyed the discussion. But, what I was inspired most from was Prof. Vikram Gadre's (easily one of my favourite professors, during my 5 year stay in IIT-B) talk towards the conclusion of the program.

I can categorize his message into 2 points:
1) Competition can help bring the best out of every individual but cooperation (team spirit) if added to it can bring the collective best out of the entire group, which will be greater than the total quanta achieved in the absence of cooperation. He stressed the importance of having cooperation at the right places. He pointed out that normally students tend to cooperate where they should not, like during the exams, while solving assignments (by copying) or in short, when it appears to be a convenient tool or a shortcut. In instances otherwise, we just have a sheer competitive spirit which even leads us to undercut our peers at times. Competition is something which is quite abundant present all around but let's add some cooperation to it and it might give sweeter fruits.

2) It is your age to build character and not a personality type. Don't build a personality just because that's the way you would love to see it on your paper (resume) in a desired form; rather work towards building a strong character which if written on a paper illustrates your true personality. In short, according to me, his message was to make us realize that do not do things just for the heck of it. Do it only if you are thoroughly convinced and you feel you will enjoy it!

By the way, I have founded a new club recently, alongwith Devasheesh, called Lazeez Lazies and the reason for I being out of blogging scene for a while now, can be partially attributed to the same! We are planning to float honorary memberships of the club to a few distinguished lazies, very soon! :) However, if you feel you deserve one, please write to us.