• SIE@FSU

Cooperation VS Competition

Cultural differences between Bali and the USA

One of the most notable things about American culture is how competitive it is. Ever since we are born we are competing against one another. Whether you're competing for grades in school or for who can have the best little league team as a child, and in college there's a competition for who can get the most girls or drink the most beers, and as you become an adult it's all about who can have the best job or the nicest car. Throughout every stage of our American lives we are constantly competing with each other for our own personal good, rather than the greater good. It is easy to get lost in what is best for you and your family as it is instinctual to survive, however this aggressive competition in our culture creates a lot of problems and some people fall through the cracks of capitalism and can become poor, addicted to drugs, and even criminals just to survive. When all of us are competing for a limited number of jobs and material wealth there are winners and losers. Some people just accept this reality and go on with their lives, but we can not forget that humanity is no different than a sports team and we are only as strong as our weakest link.


The Balinese people have the sports team mindset and cooperate to create a greater good for all of them instead of just a greater good for themselves. If someone does not have enough money for a wedding the entire community pitches in to help them have the wedding, and in turn weddings are events open to the entire community. Everyone in Bali is so friendly to one another and communication is open and honest, if something is wrong in your life you can freely express it with your neighbors and they will do everything in their power to help you solve your problem. Even just walking down the street past a stranger they will say hello and ask you how you are doing, not because they are trying to sell you something but because they genuinely care about your well being and they know we're all on the same team. Jealousy and greed are not nearly as common in Bali either because they recognize that life is a personal journey of growth and in order to reach your full potential you need to cooperate with those around you.


Time may be money in America but in Bali time is relationships and love. Observing how harmonious and happy the Balinese people are has shown me that we are doing something wrong in America, and that I need to bring back some of the Balinese love and culture to the USA.