The Difference between losing and being a loser
The other day my six-year-old daughter and I engaged in a game of indoor soccer in our basement. It was competitive and fun, and ultimately I came out the victor 5-4. When we finished, she stated, “we both won.” I told her, “no” that I won and she lost. She was insistent that we both won. I explained to her that indeed I won and she lost. I then proceeded to explain to her the importance of losing and the difference between losing and being a loser.
|Losing is a moment in time||Being a loser is a state of mind|
|Losing is an opportunity to learn||A loser learns nothing|
|In losing we try our best||A loser tries less|
|Losing teaches humility||Being a loser teaches envy|
|In losing we want to try again||A loser gives up completely|
The Impact “Everyone wins” has on our progression.
I’ve recently read articles about the push to move towards a society wherein our children are not subjected to winning and losing. Rather, everyone is exceptional and nobody is different. Playing a game is for the experience alone, not meant to keep score or to play for a purpose.
Sounds good in theory, right? Why is this such a danger to our prosperity? Well, it starts with an understanding of physics. Without gravity, which opposes our lift from the earth, we would float away. Without resistance of everything we interact with, we would gain no muscles and be completely worthless. Let me demonstrate this path of destruction we’re sending out kids down:
If there is no winning, then you don’t need to keep score, if you don’t keep score, your actions don’t matter, if your actions don’t matter, then what’s the purpose.
We lose a very important principle of life and eternity when we fail to recognize the value of opposition in our lives. When we eliminate opportunities for opposition we essentially eliminate the experiences necessary to grow and develop. We lose the desire to do better.
The value of competition
Competition is a component of a free market and creates an intrinsic desire for us to do better. Competition is a form of opposition. Take a society where regardless of what you did, what you accomplished, what you invented, or what you became didn’t matter. And on the flip side of that, regardless of how lazy, regardless of how criminal, regardless of how uncooperative, you were given the same as everyone else. How motivated would you be to be a productive member of society? Just ask the millions of youth stuck playing video games how motivated they are.
Competition creates a environment where we are provided with opposition. And remember, its overcoming that opposition (or resisting it) that makes us stronger. Regardless of the type of opposition-be it, mental, spiritual, physical, or emotional-how we train our minds and bodies to react to it, will directly determine our behaviors and success in life. Sometimes our greatest form of competition comes from ourselves. Regardless of where competition or opposition enters our lives, its our trained response to it that determines who we are. Will we sneak away to a dark corner with “those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat,” or will we “strive valiantly” to be better then who we are today?
Isn’t a law, in its own way an opposition? Inherently in their nature, laws are directly in opposition to those who would desire wrong. Without a law, there would be no sin and therefore no resistance to do wrong.
Why losing is important
Through defeat we learn to appreciate victory. Through failure we learn to appreciate success. Famous American inventor, Thomas Edison, when trying to invent the light bulb, had encountered plenty of failures along the way. It was reported that it took him about 10,000 attempts to invent the light bulb! When he had approached the 9,000 mark, he was asked if he felt like a failure with his endeavor to invent an electric light source, and his response was, “Young man, why would I feel like a failure? And why would I ever give up? I now know definitively over 9,000 ways that an electric light bulb will not work. Success is almost in my grasp!”
If there is no measuring stick to which we can gauge our progression, how do we know when we’ve grown? It’s been through my many failures, or loses, that I have learned the most. When we take losing out of our society, we steal the opportunity for our society to grow and learn. That is why, when my kids try their best, and still come up short, they will continue to grow and find opportunities to improve their best.