Learning to be a Loser

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That title caught your attention, didn’t it? This subject has been on my mind for about a week now.

My son’s little league baseball team made it to the championship game. They had a slow start to the beginning of the season. A few losses, many games canceled due to weather, but once we got into full swing, the team began working together and started seeing some wins. The big game was scheduled for Saturday afternoon. All the boys played hard, but they also made a few mistakes. There were some good calls and some bad calls by the umps.  Unfortunately, they couldn’t get ahead enough to pull out a win.

And that broke my ten year old’s heart. “Come on, guys. We can do this!” I heard him shout as he ran to the outfield. They tried, but they couldn’t.

But you know, sometimes it’s good to be a loser. Sure, sure, winning is much more fun, but losing builds more character. Losing makes you think about what you could have done better. Losing humbles you.

We’ve all been there a time or two. Sometimes it may be a small loss; sometimes it’s a huge mistake that threatens to sink the ship. And we have to dig deep to find the strength to move on. Perhaps we’re battered and scared. And perhaps we’ve fallen to our knees because of our own mistakes–bruised and beaten by our own stupidity–but when that happens, we learn so much more than when the ship is sailing smoothly.

I read a post on a church sign the other day. It said, “Smooth seas never made a skillful sailor.” How true. We learn to navigate self awareness, compassion, humble spirits, strengths and weaknesses, and our ulterior motives when we’re forced to look at ourselves in a different light…perhaps a little less perfect than what we first thought.

So, like any mother would, I told my son how proud I was of him. How he did a great job despite the loss. I told him how I understood how much it stinks to lose. And even though that night there were no first place trophies, no ice cream and not even a participation trophy (Don’t get me started on that subject!), my son learned a great lesson.

That sometimes being a loser is the best you can be and every once in a while, that’s even better than winning.

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About jvdlandersen

I'm a young adult author. But more importantly, I'm a Christian, a wife, and a mom. Sometimes I'll write about writing and my journey through publishing. Other times, I'll write for my kids and myself. You can read it too if you want. To find out more about my books, check out www.jandersenbooks.com. To find out more about me, follow this blog. :)

2 responses »

    • Absolutely, Jerry. I can’t tell you how much the participation trophy craze irritates me too! Used to be a person would have to actually work for a reward. And sometimes they’d find out that even when they did work, things didn’t always turn out just the way they planned. But you know what? That’s life. Our kids DO need to learn to lose.

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