Everyone likes to win. No, everyone WANTS to win. Some people would do anything to win because winning feels good. It feels good because it gives you confidence and brings lots of joy to yourself knowing all of you hard worked has finally payed off. Another reason why people like winning is because losing just sucks.
Depending on how you take losing it could be good or bad. If you take it as if you failed, then you actually lost. But if you take it as learning from your mistakes, then it is a good thing. This past football season, I experience a lot of victories. But more importantly, I experienced losing. Losing in this case wasn’t a bad thing though because we had a phenomenal coach. Yea it sucked, but we learned from it. It told us where we were most vulnerable and what we needed to work on to improve our game. I think that losing even helped us into the playoffs. The reason for this is that our loss in the district championship game brought us back down to Earth. But instead of being down in the dumps, we used the anger from the loss and turned it into a butt kickin’ the next game.
There is another form of losing though. This one caught me off guard though. This isn’t your ordinary loss though. This loss came from the heart. Miles and miles of heart. . I was recently at a wrestling meet when I witnessed this type of loss. It was the last match of the junior varsity portion of the meet. Our wrestler, Eric Tolle, was matched up against a special needs kid. Everyone in the stands thought Eric was just going to go out and beat him. But after I was able to talk to him, he said he had different ideas. Before his match, Eric’s coaches told him it was up to him to do what he felt was right. Eric said that he was just going to barely beat the kid. But as he shook his opponent’s hand, he had a change in heart. Eric let his special needs opponent beat him. Although Eric lost, the joy from his opponent couldn’t keep a smile off of his face. After you know it, I even found myself standing and clapping with everyone else in the gym. The excitement from Eric’s opponent made me very proud. He had his arms up in the air and jumping around.
Eric Tolle’s match really hit me. It made realize that winning isn’t everything, that sometimes you lose to do the right thing, and that losing may have a greater reward. Because of Eric Tolle’s courage to lose, he was rewarded. It made me believe that there is more to losing that just defeat.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.