In learning from the Buddha, we should learn the Buddha's conduct, thinking, and way of managing things and treating others. Since there is too much to learn and it's not easy to learn it all, we can first learn the precept of not killing. The foundation of not killing is non-contention. Once you contend, you will kill. We don't compete or contend with anything or anyone, because "Contention involves the thought of winning and losing, and it goes against the Way." If we think about winning and losing, and discriminate who wins and who loses, then we are just mutually competing to be on top. This is all contention, and it opposes the Way.
Cultivators should not contend. For example, those who come earlier to bow to the Buddha should stand in front; those who come later should stand in back. Those who come later cannot say, "Oh, I'm wearing my formal robe, and the person in front of me isn't wearing his robe. I'm going to drive him away and take his place." That's called contention. As soon as you contend, you're no longer a Buddhist. This is the simplest and the most obvious example.
If we keep bowing to the Buddha, yet still contend with others for a place to stand, how can we say we have any merit and virtue? We should all reflect deeply on this. Do not think, "I'm superior to others because I'm wearing my robe." Or, "I'm higher than the people wearing robes because I'm wearing my sash over the robe." Or, "I'm a left-home person so I'm superior to the laypeople." That's not how it is. When we are performing repentance, bowing to the Buddhas, or reciting Sutras, we should yield to others instead of contending. However, we shouldn't be overly humble. If we deliberately put on a show of humility, that's also wrong. We have to accord with the Middle Way. We are here cultivating together, so we ought to help one another instead of obstructing one another. If we obstruct others, they will also obstruct us. So we should first learn not to contend. Let others have the good things, and take only what others do not want. If we can do this, then we will correspond with the Way instead of going against it.