FROM THE BOOK OF QUESTIONS #2

Another interesting question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

Would you rather be a member of a world championship sports team or be the champion of an individual sport?  Which sport would you choose?

I’d rather be the champion of an individual sport.  As mentioned way back here, team sports have always been more difficult for me anyway, due to my partial deafness.  But there’s another reason: Teamwork is frustrating, to say the least!   Writing this, I can’t help but review that unforgettable scene from the film, The Untouchables (if you’ve seen it, you know which one)!  And though my attitude toward teamwork is (I should hope) not as indifferent as that of the guy who gets bashed to death with a baseball bat, I prefer individual work.  After all, I’ve always been an individualist (Type Four, on the Enneagram).  This is just one reason my favorite Star Trek series is the original.  In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Captain Picard hardly makes a decision without first discussing every option among his officers; while Star Trek’s Captain Kirk makes every decision as necessary, realizing there’ll be plenty of time to discuss it later.

But the value of individual work–particularly of individual decision-making–applies in real life, as well.  One example that immediately occurs to me (and I only use this because I am a resident of the Gulf Coast) is that of BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig.  One of the workers could have prevented the spill by simply shutting off a valve–but he didn’t.  He knew what he could do, and the urgency of it–but he waited for the order from his superior, which of course came too late.   

Teamwork is essential for us–our species wouldn’t even have evolved, had it not been for teamwork, specifically organized hunting.  But teamwork is overvalued in our society, while individual thinking  (and acting) is discouraged.  This is perhaps the main reason the United States is so dangerously polarized–as I point out in my essay presented in this post, we don’t vote for individuals anymore, but for parties.  And these parties, Democratic and Republican, are teams.  We’re playing football with our government!

Yet referring back to Dr. Stock’s question–I would choose swimming as the individual sport at which I’d be a champion.

4 Responses to “FROM THE BOOK OF QUESTIONS #2”


  1. 1 iamheatherjo March 19, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    If it meant that my Cubs would FINALLY get a World Series Championship, I would say taht I would rather be part of a team! 😀

  2. 3 Abby March 20, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    I love the book of questions questions! Well, most of them… as so many are difficult to answer.

    Having competed both as an individual and as a part of a team, my first reaction was the championship sports team member. But after some more thought, I realized that I just enjoy team sports – even if we’re losers! But being champion of an individual sport is really something to relish. Or maybe there’s just not much fun in losing an individual competition?


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