Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Can We Please Stop Competing Against Each Other?

I've noticed a trend amongst young Catholic bloggers (particularly those between about 23 - 29)... and it's not a good one. What is the trend? It's competing against each other; trying to have a bigger and more successful ministry/blog/online following than the others. I wonder if I had been the only one who had noticed it so I posed this question on Twitter. From the replies I got, it seems that I'm not the only one who has noticed it... and those who have noticed it fall in the young Catholic blogger category.

I'm not saying competition is bad. There have been some competitions that have produced great results that benefited society and/or a specific group of people trying to better things. Competing with my brothers during games is not bad... as long as I stop the urge to dance when I win. lol. It's when the competition gets ugly and/or puts us in temptation to do something sinful that it becomes a problem.

Look, we all want to be successful in one way or another, even if that success is leading a good life here on earth and then spending eternity with God and the communion of saints. Nothing wrong with that. But trying to be more popular than others who are doing the same thing we should all want to be doing -- evangelizing and getting more souls to heaven -- that's when the risk of temptation for pride, vanity, anger, etc. to weasel its way into your heart and soul becomes greater.

"I want to outdo *insert well-known young blogger's name*." "I want to cover something *insert young blogger's name* hasn't with their ministry... and make it bigger and better than what they have now." "I want more followers/readers than *insert person's name*..." Do y'all see where it becomes a problem?

I notice these things and, as a peacekeeper/maker, it hurts me so. I've seen so many talented bloggers (both young and old... but mostly young) fall into this trap. We shouldn't try to outdo each other's ministries. We should try to either help spread the word of someone's ministry (especially if you feel like they do a better job than you do at explaining or carrying out certain things) or contributing to Catholic evangelization in ways that haven't been covered by others. Sure, you can have a ministry/blog/website that is similar to someone else's and you can offer others a different point of view or way of reaching out; this would actually be great. Just be careful that you don't get to a place where you let yourself fall into the "I want/need to be more popular than..." trap.

I feel like this is sort of rant because I'm personally tired of seeing this happen. I personally don't keep track of my reader count because it's so easy to fall into that trap. I write because I want to write and I feel like if what I write helps one person throughout the entire history of this blog (for how ever long it may be), then I've done my job. Even if that one person is me figuring out a way to better myself as a person, than that's all I can ask for.

I don't pretend to be eloquent with my writing because I just write what I feel. I don't pretend to know everything or even a fraction of what other bloggers know because I obviously don't (Hello, What I Learned Wednesday concept ;D). I won't pretend that I don't see others turning Catholic evangelization into something ugly because I know it will only divide us.

Young Catholics, we are in a very crucial point in our lives and history right now. We are getting married, having children, and raising the next generation of young Catholics. This is happening now. How about we pray for those who have successful ministries? How about we pray that we can help out the Church in any way we can? Why not take a page out of St. Therese of Lisieux's book and contribute in our own "little way" if you aren't able to on a bigger scale? C'mon, y'all... don't let the Enemy divide us when the world is already so very much against us!

Anyway, I woke up wanting to write this and I found the time (a miracle, really, lol) to write it so here it is. I hope no one feels attacked by this. It's not my intention to attack anyone; I just wanted to put this out there in case anyone wants to reflect on anything.

I should go get some silent prayer time in before my day gets crazy busy again.

I hope y'all are having a great start of week thus far!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D


tpringle said...

Unfortunately, I too have witnessed this more than I would like to. And, I've even fall pray to it myself from time to time. It's important for us to come to the realization that we're not here to fight with each other for readership...it isn't about us. We're here to spread the Gospel message of Christ. If we don't work together to bring other people to meet Christ, we are missing the point of the New Evangelization!

Emmy Cecilia said...

Tomasito - Yes! We should all work together but sometimes it's hard when we see people trying to outdo each other. I've been tempted as well but I've stopped myself from actually doing anything. We're human so it happens. Apparently it's worse for the girls than for the guys -- or so I was told through the comments.

Julie Baldwin said...

Aaaaaamen! Well-said!