My 3-year-old son Braden loves to play the “first one to… is the winner” game with us. I usually allow him to be the winner as I play the coveted role of loser, one that I’ve become quite familiar with throughout my life. However, sometimes I allow him the opportunity to be the “loser” either to teach him a lesson or just because I need the enjoyment of watching his reaction.
What happens when he loses? Most of the time he has this special cry that I’ve come to love and appreciate. I call this his loser cry. Now don’t judge me – it IS perfectly okay to play this game with my son – no matter what your psychology books tell you.
Last night I was again reminded how to act appropriately as a loser. If you know me and my family – you’ll know that we are die-hard Pittsburgh Steeler fans. Last night, our team lost in the playoffs against the Broncos. That’s it. Season over. The end of a dream for now.
I follow most of the Steelers on twitter. Last night I saw tweets from losers that had winning class. I’ll share one tweet with you from Ryan Clark, “Thank God for teaching me humility. Thank my loved ones for showing me unconditional love!”
We’ve all heard that you shouldn’t be a sore-loser. Well I think you can be a sore-loser, just don’t be an inappropriate sore-loser. Don’t deny the pain that you feel in losing or in loss – just act on that pain appropriately.
I was talking with my daughter the other day about winning vs. losing. I told her that anyone can be a winner and that it doesn’t take a great person to handle winning (although maybe it does). I also told her that it does however take a great person to be a loser and handle it appropriately.
In the game of life we are bound to lose. At some level we are all losers. And it’s in those times of losing or in loss that we can win the most. It’s in those times where our character and integrity are put to the ultimate test. It’s in those times where we ask ourselves what we’re even playing for?
What game are you playing? Are you playing to win…. or to lose…. or to just be in the game?