Monday, March 15, 2010

Why Losing is Good

Okay, so losing is *not* good. Losing is not just*bad*; I believe losing is evil. Yes, that's right. Losing, as we Americans define it, I believe, is evil. I'll get to that another time; but for now, I need you to know that just because I believe it is *wrong* to lose, doesn't mean you can't learn something from losing. And that, of course, is why I think that what losing *does to us* is good. Losing isn't good, but its "ends" is. So let's start with the ends:

Losing helps us see that we are all equally flawed. We never perform up to the perfect standard that our sport (or game or activity) demands. By not doing so, we must admit to ourselves that we are imperfect. Furthermore, more likely than not, at the end of a lost game, we will be able to see the flaws in a referee. They aren't perfect either. Nobody is.

Losing causes us to self-examine. As mentioned above, we should easily be able to spot our own flaws. But more than that, losing allows us to see where we can apply ourselves to improve. In a sense, I *am* speaking of self-improvement; but know that I think it only goes so far. And here's how far it goes:

Theodore Roosevelt once said:

"Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty... I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led diffcult lives and led them well."

And so I hold this to be true. Learning an instrument, a sport, a skill, will never, ever be easy to do. That's what makes it so precious and so fulfilling for the person doing it. I think this will even be true after life on earth.

Losing makes us long for victory. In my opinion, this is the most important affect of losing. I believe that, ultimately, we can find victory in life - in all of the junk that we deal with and see. That victory won't come from a win on the court or from beating your best friend in a game of Cranium. This victory is greater than anything that we can do on our own. I believe that it can only come from a life aligned with an eternal purpose.

Have questions about what I'm talking about? Drop me an email, or post a comment on this entry.

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