You Lost. Who Cares? We All Do.

Plan … Practice … Execute … Lose. Not winning often leaves a person’s feeling as if he or she is a failure. Everyone understands the disappointment of a loss. This does not give one the right to become a sore loser. Just as students win with pride, they ought to lose with dignity.

What does it mean to lose with dignity? Well, first off, it means that someone who loses cannot allocate the blame to anyone but one’s self. The only purpose of making excuses about why someone lost by saying it was because of someone else is just to make oneself feel better about one’s failure.

That’s it.

Though it may be cliche, losing and failing initiates learning, and if someone cannot own up to one’s loss, one will never even have the opportunity to understand why one lost, and improve oneself to be successful the next time around. Instead, one will only ever make excuses and put the blame on others, rendering one at a standstill, stuck, while everyone else succeeds. The other part of losing with dignity is to acknowledge the winner and be happy for him or her. Someone else may have won, but all that does is give the person another chance to get ahead. Opportunities are everywhere; dwelling on the loss of one will make the person miss the opportunities that remain. 

This is why learning to lose with grace is so important for students, especially those in high school. From a young age, students are immersed in student elections from clubs to student council to something as simple as a sports game. Imagine a scenario where a student is part of a multitude of clubs and runs for the presidency in all of them. The votes come in for one of the clubs and this student does not win the position, and he or she chooses to be sour about it and make a ruckus due to the loss. Not only will that student be considered someone who cannot accept when things do not go his or her way, but it will reflect badly on all the other clubs that person is a part of and he or she may end up losing his or her position in all of them. Dwelling on one loss when there are so many other options for the same position somewhere else is not beneficial to anyone. If that student had chosen to accept the results of that one club election and acknowledge that someone else may have been a better fit for that specific club, the student would have had a much better chance of winning in another election. 

It doesn’t take much to transform a loss into a win, and thereby a loser into a winner. Nevertheless, sore losing is on the rise in our society. (John Peruggia)

The way in which students learn this quality in high school is a mirror image of what can happen out in the real world. Someday, someone might lose his or her job, because it is all too common. In fact, the seven-month total in 2019 for job cuts was 369,832 jobs, a 35.8% increase from the previous year, which had a seven-month total of 272,301 job cuts. Losing a job is scary and depressing; yes, it is hard. But that cannot deter someone from picking himself or herself up and taking the initiative to look for a job somewhere else, because if one chooses to dwell on it and be constantly sad about it, one will be stuck with unemployment wasting away a life that had the potential to be so much better. On a smaller scale, the same applies to being passed on a promotion. Being upset and angry regarding that loss may cost someone their job entirely. 

Not only will this quality affect yourself, but it can also affect everyone around you, possibly the whole country. On Saturday, November 7, national media outlets declared a winner in the Presidential election, turning the former Vice President into President-Elect Joseph Biden. However, the incumbent, President Donald Trump, refused to concede the election. President Trump has since asserted that the only way President-Elect Biden could have won was if the election was rigged due to voter fraud. Despite the lack of credible evidence for this assertion, President Trump’s supporters have followed in his suit, protesting the outcome of the election. The President’s actions have become seriously detrimental to a democratic system, planting seeds of distrust that may fester for years to come solely based on the fact that he is a sore loser and cannot come to accept that he lost. 

Instilling a sense of distrust with the democratic system employed in our elections have put poll workers and other politicians in danger; they have begun receiving death threats simply because they have stepped up against Trump, claiming that it was, in fact, a fair election. Trump’s actions and false statements about voter fraud have affected the country as a whole, and if only he had learned to lose with grace and respect, the country would not be going through the power struggle it is experiencing right now. 

Having or lacking the quality of sportsmanship and grace in the midst of failure can make or break the respect that someone holds in society and possibly even with themselves. Hence, it is so important for children to learn this quality in school, which is exactly why clubs, student council, etc, are a lot more important than many people think as they reflect what can happen out in the real world.