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: