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When it hurts to be a Winner: Someone has to lose in order for you to win
Posted by R. Wesley Lovil, Jun 10, 2012. 1183 views. ID = 5711

When it hurts to be a Winner

Posted by R. Wesley Lovil, Jun 10, 2012. 1183 views. ID = 5711
This post was written in 15 minutes.
Us against them should not be a way of life
This post has been awarded 6 stars by 2 readers.

Will it be the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat? This is the question most young men grow up asking, as they root for their team, their school, or their region's sports team throughout their lives. We are taught that gracious losers are still losers and that winners have the right to rub defeat in their faces. I understand this is done to encourage people to play harder so they can be winners, not losers. However, by the very definition of the word, every contest has to have not only a winner but a loser as well.

As for me, I became conflicted by the win or lose mentality at a young age. Don't get me wrong; for I too hated losing as much as anyone but when I won, I began feeling empathy for the other side. How can it be ethical for me to inflict the pain of losing on someone just to make me feel good? As this question became harder for me to answer I began to lose my interest in playing sports, I mean if losing is terrible and wining not that pleasurable, why bother playing.

To my children I've tried to encourage group efforts, not 'us' against them but 'we' working together to accomplish some goal. Playing this way, win or lose, we do it together, not in opposition to each other. Although I find goal-orientated activities very rewarding, the children often end up making a contest out of it no matter how I organize it. I am not trying to stop them from playing sports; I'm merely trying to show them that there are other ways of doing things. I know what I'm saying is close to blasphemy to many people but I cannot help the way I feel. As long as you both are trying, isn't it better to say, we did ten push-ups together, rather than I did seven and you only did three?

Copyright 2012 R. Wesley Lovil. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 6 stars by 2 readers.
This post is part of a writing prompt: Extremes

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