This I Believe

Greg - La Grange Park, Illinois
Entered on September 28, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe…

I believe that people always will compete against one another no matter what they are competing over. Everyone is looking to prove that they are better than someone else. Whether it is in sports, school, jobs, money, or any other status that they find important; everyone wants to be the best at what they do.

This competitive nature usually drives certain people to the top, but sometimes this leads people to unnecessary conflicts. Three years ago my family and I where driving down La Grange road towards 31st street in late November just after Thanksgiving. While driving, we passed a large house that was already decorated for Christmas. This enthusiastic home owner had gone all out to decorate their yard front and back. Lights and colorful wreaths covered every inch of available space on this homeowner’s lawn and house. It was a great spectacle and every passing motorist turned their head to stare at this gaudy display of Christmas spirit.

One week later while passing this same spot my family and I turned in anticipation of seeing the decorated house. To our surprise we saw not one but two decorated homes. The neighbor from across the way, not to be out done, had gone even more overboard with the early Christmas season decorating. This home owner had managed to out do their neighbors across the way by covering their three twenty foot tall pine trees head to toe with bright sparkling lights. Not only did this person decorate their trees they also covered their bushes that surrounded the house with lights. Clearly this was a yearly competition to be the best decorated house on the block. These two neighbors try to prove that they are the best decorated. This seemed harmless enough, but a week later I discovered that this was a fierce competition.

My family was once again driving through the area on our way home from visiting family when we saw the two neighbors standing outside of their decorated homes shouting across the street. At first I thought it was just a friendly exchange of criticism, but as I drew closer I heard some of the things that were said, and it was no friendly exchange this was a hate filled and heated exchange that could have easily escalated to physical violence.

This is one of the more striking instances where people’s competitive nature got the best of them and lead to conflict. Not everyone makes it this obvious but everyone is competitive in one sense or another. This quality can push people to greatness, but not everyone is pushed to greatness. Some people are pushed into unnecessary arguments with their neighbor over Christmas decorations.