Losing With Grace

I read a quote the other day.

OK, it was a meme…

But what it said actually resonated with me quite a bit.

Seriously.

Let that percolate in your brain for a minute.

I have three kids.  A hard-working husband.  We have a lovely home in suburbia.  We are the definition of middle-class.

I, obviously, care who is elected come November.

But, here’s the thing:

When the ballots are in and the proverbial smoke clears, there will be one “winner.”

…But that doesn’t have to mean that the other side lost.

So often, people forget that change starts with yourself. It starts at home. With your actions. What you teach your children.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not raising my kids Left or Right.

I’m raising them to be decent humans.

Listen, I’m not stupid. I know it’s not that simple when we are talking politics at a national level.

But, I’ll be damned if my children are going to learn from their parents to hate.

I will not teach them that if our guy doesn’t get elected, that means we spend the next 4 years complaining.

Honestly, that’s a huge beef I have with both Left and Right. I don’t think anyone in the Senate had parents who taught them to “love thy neighbor.”

If they did, they would gracefully take losses and begin working together.

THAT is the life lesson my kids will learn with this election.

To either win or lose gracefully and with purpose.

When I was in 8th grade, our school held a huge Field-Day-like event. We were separated into “Houses,” which were our teams. There were three Houses: X, Y, and Z. The Houses participated in a series of games over a period of, I think, a week. On the last day, the winning House would be crowned, after an intense Tug-Of-War competition.

I was part of House X. We had A LOT of jocks participating in the games, and especially the Tug-Of-War. There was a general consensus throughout the school that we would be coming out on top.

It was our math teacher, who also happened to be the football coach, who taught House X probably the most important life lesson we would learn that year.

Before the big Tug-Of-War took place, the whole team was hyped up, excited for the inevitable win.

Our teacher quickly stepped in to pacify, or moreso, humble us.

He told us that he understood our excitement and was proud of our efforts up to that point. But, like all things in life, victory was never going to be certain.

He explained that no matter how hard we worked or how certain we were, a loss was still possible. And, that if we DID lose, it should be with grace and respect. He was teaching us about dignity.

Well, the Tug-Of-War challenge began. Our mighty jocks pulled their hardest and we won. However, the tables quickly turned when we were disqualified for having one too many participants on the floor. A mistake that was really anyone’s fault in all the chaos and excitement.

You would think that a huge group of hormonal 8th graders would be pissed about a technical lose.

But, guess what happened?

The team remembered their lesson in dignity.

While the winning team rushed the gym floor in celebration, House X in its entirety, stood up and applauded.

We lost with grace.

We lost with respect.

And the next school day, we were all still friends.

These are the lessons my children will learn when it comes to politics.

It might be simple…But, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a perfect foundation.

One thought on “Losing With Grace

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