Some of you may be wondering just how it is that Bunnies naturally seem to know that there is, in fact, no Competition in Being Bunnies. Bunnies just Are. And as such, they are generally delighted to Be Bunnies. Humans just Are as well, of course. But yet, somehow Humans seem to be more discontent with just Being Humans and as a result, they seem to insert Competition into just about everything, Being included.
So, to answer your question (because I do know it is coming), Yes, Bunnies do find this incessant need for competition odd, especially among when it comes to parenting. And, to be clear, this isn’t in regards to all Human parents. But if you have met a competitive parent, then you probably know the kind we are speaking of, the one that consistently portrays a sense of superiority and/or condescension and whose child has reach every milestone earlier and more skillfully than yours…
You see, Bunnies look inward for success based on the desire to articulate and express one’s own unique gifts to the best of one’s ability rather than to stand out as superior or “the Best” in relationship to another. Moreover, Bunnies see winning and loosing as the opportunity to teach sportsmanship, practice and try again. Bunnies don’t believe in failure; we believe in opportunities to learn. Bunnies believe that productivity, creativity and success are inherent in all Bunnies when encouraged to discover one’s own path to excellence.
A Culture of Competition
You see a Culture of Competition tends to create a need to stand out, to be recognized, to be the Best, and ergo, the need to Defeat. This, of course, is fundamentally at odds with desired Bunny values of compassion, kindness and empathy, among the many other nice Bunny attributes. And thus, in Bunny life, Competition plays a decidedly minor role in how we choose to Be in our world.
Mind you, this does not mean that Bunnies do not play games like Balance the Carrot or Bunny Track and Field… because these sorts of games are both fun learning experiences for young Bunnies and, well, just plain fun! And although Humans tend to see these activities as inherently competitive, for Bunnies, they are more opportunities for the expression of joy and the teaching of values.
This is because when Bunnies are running races, they are primarily taking pleasure in the act of running itself.
It doesn’t really matter who gets to the finish first. In fact, in most instances, the first one to the finish simply turns around and hops with the ones behind. For the winner knows that he hasn’t actually won anything at all. He has only hopped the fastest.
The joy is in the hopping rather than in the winning!
And if a particular Bunny or group of Bunnies does begin to take it a bit too far, we know that we just need to get Back to Bunny Basics with them and work on those delightful Bunny Principles, reminding them that we play for the love of the game, that all Bunnies were created equal, and that true Hoppiness is found within.
Yet, I have digressed already as this post is intended to be about Competition and Parenting rather than general Bunny fluff. [Bunnies do have trouble with staying on topic from time to time…]
So then, what is Competitive Partnering and why is it considered a Human sport anyway? For, according to our analysis, competition among Human Parents is not only problematic, but most often quite toxic and destructive. Not only that, but we are beginning to wonder if it is truly even helpful in your evolution as a species.
So let’s take a moment to review a few points about Human evolution from a Bunny’s point of view. To begin with, I can tell you that although there does appear to be an uncanny drive to Conquer that has persisted in Human behavior throughout its history, it is, in fact, the Human drive to survive as a Society of Beings that has launched you on this trajectory towards the laudable species you have become.
Among Humans, evolution is often discussed in terms of the Darwinian theory generally referred to as the “Survival of the Fittest”. And we want to be clear as we aren’t sure that you all really understand what this is about.
So, from a Bunny’s perspective, this theory isn’t really about the “fittest” in terms of who can be the Best, it is rather about the “fittest” in terms of who is the healthiest and best adapted to the present environment and conditions, in particular, the ones who were best able to procure food, remain healthy and meet their basic needs as a Group.
For, one Best Human does not a species make.
And so, although you have always had bewildering issues with tribal conflict and a need to dominate, Bunnies would argue that as you continue to evolve as a species, you might eventually come to the realization that Bestness isn’t really all that helpful. For, perhaps survival, or even success, is not inherently contingent upon another’s defeat. Perhaps, success is about understanding how all of the components of a system can work together in equilibrium, for this is the balance nature seeks, this is how ecosystems work. Perhaps, just maybe.
You see, Humans, like Bunnies, are social animals and would not have evolved into the species you are today if this fierce competitive independence was, in fact, the full and total picture. You see, what Bunnies know and Humans sometimes forget is that not only is there no one correct way to Be in the world, but also, that the differences are critical for the survival of the whole.
In fact, one can be both/and. And a Bunny could argue that both/and is often the most healthy approach. For example, one can be both an individual, self sufficient Bunny and still be dependent on/ benefit from a supportive social structure. For, perhaps it is where these things overlap that one can truly flourish. It is the yen and the yang. One cannot have the individual without the group.
So What Does This Mean for Parenting?
According to Bunny analysis, as modern Humans press forward in an every man for himself, Bestest philosophy, we have seen the sense of connectivity between Humans become more and more fractured. As a result, parenting paradigms have shifted to encompass this drive to dominate, to be the Best and have your children be the Best at any cost.
Furthermore, as Bunnies, our observation is that it is the demise of the village, the social structure Humans have historically relied upon, that has lead to an exacerbation of this problem. See, in the Fluffle, Bunnies know that as everyBunny is working together towards the same goal of raising happy, productive, caring Bunnies, noBunny will ever be left behind, noBunny need be defeated and everyBunny can succeed to the best of their ability.
It is a fundamentally inclusive system, this is the benefit of the village.
With Humans on the other hand, a parent’s drive to succeed and to try to ensure that their child succeeds, to be the Best or at the very least, among the Best, at the exclusion of and/or the expense of others, is both unhealthy and destructive. It is a decidedly exclusive system. And in modeling these behaviors, parents inevitably impose these values onto their children, and the toxicity perpetuates. You see, Human children are quite astute and as such, are quite aware of the parents’ desires for them to succeed, in school, sports, or extracurricular activities.
This drive for success invariably results in a fear based system as it is an unsustainable expectation that necessarily ends in failure. No one can be the Best all of the time, nor does one need to be. In such a system, one must be constantly on guard in order to maintain their position. As such, everyBunny else becomes a threat.
Vast amounts of energy and resources are squandered worrying about what others are doing, might have, might get… And as with any external system, a system dependent on some sort of relationship with the other, it leads to destructive or undesired consequences such as unhealthy relationships, unethical, often dishonest or dubious practices, lying, cheating, stealing, jealousy, greed, discontent, envy, hatred, critical and myopic world views that often manifest as ignorance.
Now, for Bunnies, as we have mentioned, success is still the goal for everyBunny. It is the need to be the Most Successful that we don’t embrace. For the message that one need to be the Best, the Smartest, the most Successful and if we are not, we have failed is not a Bunny issue.
There is no way to fail at Being a Bunny.
Besides, there are so many more ways to experience ones Being outside of this binary, diametrically opposed system. A sense of vastness and potential… Not only that, but there is plenty of room in the world for EveryBunny! And one Bunny’s success does not in anyway negate another’s. There is plenty of success to go around. For Bunnies remember that it is our success as a group that will allow us to continue to prosper as individuals.
The Value of Looking Within
In terms of development, a Culture of Competition and Comparison at the expense of Connection and Collaboration is detrimental to a Bunny’s sense of self and self worth. Feeling good when one wins and bad when one looses, along with a need to be consistently acknowledged teaches the Bunny that its happiness, its worth is something external to itself.
What happens is that the natural desire to master Bunny skills at appropriate rates and to the best of ones own ability, to achieve and accomplish in a discipline to which a particular Bunny is adept in their own time, becomes stifled. One is far more productive, creative and successful when one looks within, where success is defined by one’s own pursuit of excellence.
In fact, according to one Bunny study, if was found that of a group of Bunnies pushed towards academic excellence beginning at 4 years of age and persistently through high school were far less successful in the long term. They scored lower on college entrance exams even though they could ace standardized curriculum tests. And far fewer went on to complete college.
So maybe parents would be better served to consider what values they truly want to pass on to their children, whether to connect rather than compare. For, Competitive parenting is an external, fear based system that inhibits one’s ability to find one’s own true path. It inhibits the ability to think, to Be broadly and creatively.
The Bunny system on the other hand is an internal, love based system that looks inward for the desire to be the Best Bunny one can be. And, when one does look outward, one understands that it is truly the intrinsic Bunniness within all Bunnies that binds us, providing an atmosphere focused on connection and collaboration where all Bunnies are valued.
The Bunny Approach
Truly, both a Bunny’s and a Human’s happiness can only be found within. The only best you need to be is the best you. It is the only game you can win.
It may seem counter intuitive to a Human at first, but we promise that competing with the self in a gentle, creative way will eventually lead to a more productive, fulfilling desire for growth, a natural ability to strive for excellence to the extent that that is the goal.
A more healthy, Bunny-like approach to helping your child succeed would include some of these suggestions:
- Look for your little Bunny’s unique gifts. What makes them them. What are their strengths, likes, desires. Be careful not to confuse your strengths, likes, desires with theirs!
- Look for your little Bunny’s nots. What are the things they don’t want or like. Don’t try to change these things. Just acknowledge them. This can be as much of a clue to where their success lies as their likes.
- Look for the things that attract them. Why are they naturally drawn to certain things, activities, personality types? What makes them different or interesting. Encourage these traits imaginatively.
- Think about your priorities as a parent. What do you really want for your little Bunny. If it won’t make a difference in their life 20 years from now, it might not be that important.
- Remember that where your little Bunny ends up isn’t up to you. Your job is to provide for their needs until they find their way. Encourage them to show up for themselves, for their own interests, in their own way.
- Know that a Bunny’s gift invariably lies in what comes naturally, what comes most easily to them. And this may not be what you are wanting or expecting. It may be something completely alien to you. Trying to redirect them will only do you all a disservice.
Why It Just Doesn’t Matter!
A quick note about prodegies, the olympics, professional sports and genius level IQs. These tend to be more anomalies rather than the norm.
They will make themselves known regardless of your parenting style.
Yes 10,000 hours of practice will increase anyones adeptness at any given task, but without the underlying genetics, it will only lead so far. It will not turn a tall and lanky individual into a shorter, more powerful gymnast. All the study in the world will not give a child of average intelligence the mental dexterity required to become a Nobel Prize Winner …. The fastest runner will make itself know by nature of Being his very self and tending towards his own unique gifts. That’s all.
Ironically, Bunnies have interviewed many, many star Human athletes and geniuses and rarely, dare I say Never, have these Humans responded to the question, “Why do you do it?” with “Because I need to be the Best.” This is just not the response. The response is almost always “For the Love of the Game” or “For the Love of Knowledge”… i.e.,…
…the Bunny principle of hopping for the pure joy of hopping itself! (Regardless of How High!)
In the end, the Great Parenting Race is a Race to Nowhere. It is a race no parent can win and no child needs to be in. I promise you that following your little Bunny’s own instincts will do more to give your Bunny an advantage in life than being in the gifted class or being the Best at any given sport.
As a Bonus, while encouraging and respecting your young Bunnies uniqueness as well as your own, you will in actuality also be teaching and practicing a wide range of Bunny values including kindness, empathy, respect and integrity to name just a few!
Bunny Scout 43797 is an Attorney at Law. She worked for years in high stress corporate Law Firms. She now runs a her own firm representing Bunnies in Need. She is also a Scout for Olivia in West Virginia.