Someone Won and Someone Lost, but There Were No Losers

November 9, 2022 –

When I was a kid, I used to play (shoot) marbles—sometimes for “keeps” and sometimes for “fun.” You need not have played marbles or even understand how the game is played to guess which version my parents preferred me to play.

All the kids in the neighborhood understood competition. We played to win at football, baseball, horseshoes, cops, and robbers. But, when the game, contest, or event was over, and a winner or winners declared, we all were still best friends, buddies. No one lost, and there were no losers. We just moved on to the next competition.

In 2018, it was a technological world. Kids don’t shoot marbles in driveways (you need dirt for the playing field) or play cops and robbers solving neighborhood “crimes.” Today, there is no need for two empty soup cans with a string attached to them to communicate — text or call your friends on your cell.

Time brings change—much of it is beneficial. But not all change is positive. Today, many people have adopted the mantra of only playing for keeps and forgotten how to have fun. Today, we often recognize the winner and classify all the other participants as losers. Somehow, that doesn’t sound right. If you win, you win. If you don’t win, you lose. You are not a loser, but you lost.

I like the concept of win/win. But, in today’s world, there are “winners” and “losers.” Someone won the account; someone else didn’t; one team scored more points than the other side; someone was valedictorian; another attended summer school; someone got promoted, and some people got overlooked.

Our goal should be to work hard and be competitive. But when we’ve given our best, and the game is over, move on to the next contest.