I was recently watching a college basketball game and noticed the cameras focusing on a young fan in the stands. This young man was apparently a big fan of the team which lost. He was devastated. His team was supposed to win. After all they were picked to win by the experts. He was in tears and inconsolable. It would be easy to feel sorry for this youngster, but I didn’t. I felt sorry that he had never learned how to lose.
The whole scene was reminiscent of a recent election where the person who was supposed to win, lost. Many supporters of that loser were inconsolable. Many were in tears. Some still are. Some are having trouble sleeping. Some just can’t seem to get on with their lives. These are people who have never learned how to lose.
Now, why is that? Could this be the result of “participation trophies?” One of the most important lessons one learns growing up is that there are wins and there are losses. How could you ever be proud of an accomplishment if everybody had the same accomplishment? It wouldn’t be an accomplishment. Unless you can feel the disappointment of a loss, you could never appreciate the thrill of a victory. Winning and losing are just parts of life.
What is going to happen to this young basketball fan when he goes out into life, gets a job, and faces the reality of the world? What will happen when he has to compete for jobs? What will happen when, as an employee, he has to compete for customers? You win some and you lose some. That’s life. If one cannot handle a loss, one is going to have a very difficult time getting through life.
It comes down to this. We are doing our youngsters no favors by denying them the necessary losses they must experience in life. Sooner or later they will in fact face the losses we have tried to hide them from and they will be ill prepared to deal with it. These are basic lessons of life. Here is another reality. We are rapidly becoming a one-world economy. We will be competing with foreign countries and their philosophies. Are we preparing our children to work like the Asian countries prepare their children? I have heard that there are some schools who don’t want to give out grades because it might make some who don’t measure up feel bad. The idea of “valedictorian” is going by the wayside. It might make those who don’t accomplish as much feel bad. I think it was John Wayne who said, “Life is tough. It’s even tougher if you’re stupid.”
Don’t get me wrong. I love winning. In my lifetime I have experienced both winning and losing. Coach Vince Lombardi once said, “Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.” That’s a little harsh but the lesson is that one should learn from his losses to make them into winners. I have had many losses in my life but they have been overshadowed by my wins. In fact my biggest win in life is my wife. Her presence in my life has made the losses less painful and the wins all the more special.
The current upheaval being perpetrated by the left is going to pass. Soon their antics will go the way of all snowflakes. Once the sun hits them, they disappear and it couldn’t happen soon enough for me. Winners will continue to emerge and there will be losers. Let’s hope the losers learn from their experience.