From an early age, we learn from our parents and society how important it is for us to win, but perhaps it’s more important we know and experience what it feels like to lose, more than what it means to win.
Luckily it wasn’t a phase I went through, but children sometimes do go through phases with other children where they won’t play unless they know they’re going to win, which may often be brought about by their parents teaching them how important it is to win.
But if children win all the time, they will never learn and know what it means to lose. We learn so much more about sportsmanship from losing than we do from winning. We learn about the value of losing when we come to examine our loss and try to understand why we didn’t win.
We can be completely prepared, trained, focused and experienced and still not win. Losing is an inevitable part of the process, not everyone can be winners all the time. Over our lifetime we will probably lose more than we will win, so it’s important we know how to deal with losing.
We’re all winners and need to recognise we are even if we lose. Just because we lose, that doesn’t mean we’re a loser. If the average child finishes last in the egg and spoon race ins school that’s okay. There may be various reasons why that child didn’t win.
Finishing the challenge makes us winners. Trying to win is a challenge and that also makes us a winner. Society should embrace both in equal measure. There is always too much emphasis placed on winning and not enough on losing. If more of us came to lose instead of winning, we’d be classed as winners for losing.
It would also make winning sweeter. There is a stigma behind losing and perhaps that’s what needs to change. In my mind, we’re all winners whether we come first, or we come last. I believe it’s our perceptions that need to change.