I have been hearing all my life that “it’s not about who wins or who loses, but how you play the game”. That saying never really connected with my comfort zone. To me, it still implied that your best still wasn’t good enough.
I grew up in a family that loved to play games, whether it was a board game or a card game. There were the usual high’s when I was winning and the lows when I was losing, along with the brain activity required to plan my next strategy, but it was always better when I won.
After I married my kids’ father, who was a sports enthusiast, I realized that his moods were often determined by whether or not “his” team won…and he watched every game he could of every sport, every season of every year. Consequently, his moods often determined mine.
I noticed the same trend when my kids played games. When they won they were happy, but when they lost they were miserable. No amount of encouragement about “how they played the game” could change their bad moods if they lost, and the winner sometimes flaunted their success.
Then I started to see this in my grandkids, and it makes me sad to see them sad…even angry…when they lose a game.
We have effectively turned society into a competition where only the winners are happy.
I have been contemplating the problems with this whole competition thing for over a year now, trying to think of another form of competition where we just play games…with no winners or losers…but had been totally unsuccessful. I believed there was an answer to this dilemma, but I just hadn’t found it yet.
Recently, one of my friends that I play an online word game with started saying “Joy” when she scored a high-scoring word. When I anticipated a big move from her that didn’t actually happen, she said “No joy, lol”.
That’s when it hit me.
I was a member of the cheer leading squad in school. I remember the happiness and the excitement after winning a game…and the disappointment after losing a game. If we lost, we went home dragging our heels while the winners celebrated.
It occurred to me that all we have to do is join in the celebration! Celebrate the winner’s victory right along with them! Join the party! It really isn’t about “how” you play the game. It’s really about playing the game…together. Our loss gave them the reason to celebrate. It’s only fitting that we should join the celebration.
All it takes to change our perspective about losing is to change what happens after the game. It’s simple.
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My name is Laura Mozer Davis, and I was born over half a century ago. My life’s journey has included raising three children as a single parent while caring for my parents who both became disabled during the last 10 years of their lives. Now that my children are grown and my parents have passed into the next part of their journey, I finally have time for me to grow as a person, not as just a care-giver. What I am learning, however, is that my destiny is to always be a care-giver. When I started writing for The Daily Sisterhood blog, I realized that I was to continue my care-giving through my writing. If my words help even just one person find either solace or joy, I know my life continues to have meaning.