Thursday, November 10, 2016

Winning and Losing

Just my thoughts on the emotions of winning and losing:
I was in a workshop just last week that brought up the fact that most people born after 1985ish, sadly fall prey to the ideology that everyone should receive an award for participation. We no longer have winners standing with humility and losers standing with just the ambition to learn more and train harder. The purpose of the "participation award" was to alleviate the feeling of loss, sadness, etc, when a young person or his/her team did not "win". Parents did not want children to experience the pain of losing, but I'm telling you it's a part of life and they need to learn coping skills.

I'm afraid that this has led to many adults who cannot process a win with humility, nor a loss with grace. True character is revealed at these times. You have either been trained to be honorable and respectful to other humans at all times, or you haven't learned to navigate through the highs and lows of life, submitting everyone else to bragging/ hyped up self promotion or grown up selfish temper tantrums.

It's a lack of character when you loudly demean others, draw attention to yourself, and create chaos for others in the name of "expressing" your feelings, especially involving innocent bystanders. Everyone is tired of the current behavior of self-perceived winners and even self-perceived losers. More importantly, it should be a warning to parents and educators everywhere to stop "cushioning" the events of life for children. Let them learn from authentic experience.
It's not unlike the parable of the workers who were paid the same for different time spent working. Life does not always deal us what we think is fair. But the question is- what character will be seen in you?

For the believer, this means showing respect even when none is shown to you. I know it's hard, but it's our mandate.

God's Take on "Fairness"

“God’s kingdom is like an estate manager who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. They agreed on a wage of a dollar a day, and went to work.

“Later, about nine o’clock, the manager saw some other men hanging around the town square unemployed. He told them to go to work in his vineyard and he would pay them a fair wage. They went.

“He did the same thing at noon, and again at three o’clock. At five o’clock he went back and found still others standing around. He said, ‘Why are you standing around all day doing nothing?’

“They said, ‘Because no one hired us.’

“He told them to go to work in his vineyard.

“When the day’s work was over, the owner of the vineyard instructed his foreman, ‘Call the workers in and pay them their wages. Start with the last hired and go on to the first.’

“Those hired at five o’clock came up and were each given a dollar. When those who were hired first saw that, they assumed they would get far more. But they got the same, each of them one dollar. Taking the dollar, they groused angrily to the manager, ‘These last workers put in only one easy hour, and you just made them equal to us, who slaved all day under a scorching sun.’

“He replied to the one speaking for the rest, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair. We agreed on the wage of a dollar, didn’t we? So take it and go. I decided to give to the one who came last the same as you. Can’t I do what I want with my own money? Are you going to get stingy because I am generous?’

“Here it is again, the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.”

Matthew 20:1-16 The Message Bible