‘Cause I’m a loser, Baby.

There was a recent discussion among some friends of mine about the “everyone wins” culture in our society, and how it might foster a lack of leadership skills in this generation.

I don’t disagree. We can’t always win… more often than not, we lose. So far, I’m on board.

Then someone said, “There is a winner and a loser.”

I became instantly uneasy… uncomfortable… vaguely panicky. Initially, I couldn’t pin down why I was reacting this way.

Discussion continued. A very reasonable discussion by all participants followed. Someone else commented, “When someone says I can’t, that’s when I have to prove them wrong.” This sentiment was echoed by others.

I began thinking that maybe that was why I was feeling anxious. As a 3 time graduate school drop out, I can pretty well guarantee you that when someone (including myself) says, “You can’t”, I generally just don’t. And it makes me crazy when I hear my kids say one or the other can’t do something for some reason, especially if it’s a weak argument like “because you’re a boy/girl.”

But that couldn’t be it… there had to be more.

I stewed and stewed… what is it that’s bothering me? Competition is fine. Win/lose is fine… necessary life lesson there. What is my hang up?

Then it hit me… It isn’t losing that was getting to me. I don’t like to lose, but I don’t think everyone should “win” either. It’s the word, loser, that irks me. If there’s a winner, there’s a loser.

Let’s consult a dictionary:

los·er

noun \ˈlü-zər\

1: a person or thing that loses especially consistently
2: a person who is incompetent or unable to succeed; also : something doomed to fail or disappoint
There’s the rub. It’s not losing that bothers me, it’s losers. That is such a negative nasty word with such a negative connotation. You are the loser; I am the winner. I will succeed and you will fail or disappoint. Have a fan-freakin-tastic day!
So, No. I don’t think everyone should be a “winner”, but I also don’t think any kid should be a “loser”. I don’t even like typing it. What we need here is a new word so that we can save the future generation’s leadership capabilities without compromising my tender sensibilities…. how about something with more potential or at least a little more positive sounding like zippers, or omelets, or banana pancakes….mmmm…. hungry….
Do you have any suggestions for alternatives to the L word?

4 Comments

  1. Thesaurus.com

    Main Entry: loser  [loo-zer]
    Part of Speech: noun
    Definition: person, thing that fails
    Synonyms: also-ran, deadbeat, defeated, disadvantaged, down-and-outer, dud, failure, flop, flunkee, has-been, underdog, underprivileged
    Antonyms: achiever, success, winner

    erm…. this could get really complicated 😉

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