27 Nov

Good Loser!

I always tell my elder boy how important it is to lose with dignity in any sport, how humility is a really appealing quality to possess. When he was younger, it was a bit difficult for him to understand. I mean everyone feels bad when he/she loses, so what is the big deal in showing it? I explained to him that people who don’t let either success or failure go to their heads are the eventual winners. He has come a long way from the days when every trivial game was a matter of sore disappointment and life and death. These days I find him handling his losses quite decently.
And, yesterday he had the opportunity of witnessing exactly what I have been telling him. There was this older lady in a game of chess with another lady. As I was in the final which I later won, I went to watch this semi-final match right towards the end, and he came along always curious. He won the first prize in Chess in his age group. Now this older lady was in a messy situation and about to lose. She was doggedly fighting (nothing wrong with that) in a lost cause. She was turning the rules on its heads, making moves and changing them continuously and taking ages for each move. The other lady being very patient was bearing it silently. Finally, when this lady lost, she started arguing with the organizers that she wanted to play another game, that it was unfair, who had decided upon the format etc. As a parting shot, she even commented that she had won the first prize in another event. All this for a puny Competition that is more for fun than anything else.
My son was quite shocked with this behavior. He commented on her being a sore loser. I asked him if he learned anything from this episode, and he said he actually could see how undesirable and ugly this kind of behavior is. What was more surprising was the age of the person. He felt that older people are normally benign and balanced! Well, sometimes real incidents teach much more than morals.
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44 thoughts on “Good Loser!

  1. That should be one incident very fun to watch..Some people take wins and loses (in games) to heads..They dont think about the dignity of participating

  2. @Tomz It actually was quite hilarious and pathetic at the same time. A middle-aged aunty behaving worse than a kid.

    @Emmy Absolutely :).

    @Insignia So true! I mean kids do this all the time, but an adult behaving this way was quite horrible.

    @bbsearchingself I hope so :).

    @Shilpa Seeing teaches things in a much better way is all I’d say.

  3. You teaching right.. One shud lose in dignity always .. moreover I dont think there is that much shame in losing .. As if we look logically ..

    we lose more then we ever win.. in a race Only One winner rest lose ..

    Thank you for sharing …


  4. That is one lesson he will never forget all his life. I really appreciate your teaching the kid the right way to take wins and losses. It is so important that these things are taught early.

  5. @Bart Indeed, the real world offers so many examples of what we try to teach through stories or lessons.

    @Bikramjit You are absolutely right. Logically, of course, we lose much more than we win. Yet, we are ill equipped to handle even the tiniest losses and behave like cry babies.

    @rama Thank you, Rama. I am also happy that he got a practical lesson.

    @cybernag.in Thanks a lot! Your appreciation means a lot to me, as it comes from someone who has seen much more of life and is very balanced. I know, these days we just forget to teach our kids how to accept a “No,” how to face defeat gracefully and how to come up when faced with hardship. Especially more important from the parenting point of view because they lead privileged lives.

  6. @BKChowla Yes to a large extent, parents and the environment and peers contribute immensely too.

    @Renu Exactly! That is the least we would expect from older people.

  7. @Ashwini And yet such few actually understand that. Isn’t it strange? BTW, love your new profile pic.

    @kavita thanks! I think each parent tries to teach something good to their kid without fail.

  8. Thank you Rahul. Sometimes the easiest lessons in life are the most difficult to learn.

    @The Holy Lama Thanks a lot! Indeed that was helpful.

    @Jon Sometimes seeing ourselves from others’ viewpoint helps us to improve ourself.

  9. very true!
    no pain no gain ..worship the game!
    …it good to teach kids with examples at right age!
    winning skills can be implanted …But when we loose it should be taken supportively!

  10. One of the reasons why I am so paranoid about young kids participating in contests. For most of them it is about winning rather than just participating and learning. And parents with unrealistic expectations don’t make things any better.

    I am glad that you have inculcated the right spirit in your son.

  11. It is such an important thing to teach to your child….it comes in handy throughout life.
    This is the age to inculcate values, once they cross 16 its difficult to get through boys.
    Some boys are such sore loosers.

  12. @sumukh Welcome to my blog. You are absolutely right. Every experience teaches us something.

    @Harman Very aptly put.

    @ashok welcome to my space. Absolutely, I have seen that too.

    @Purba I agree with you. Sometimes, I have seen parents go downright ballistic if they see their child lose and also publicly reprimand them. It is not as if this is the Olympics. And even if they were, parents are meant to support and encourage. Perhaps, they are trying to do through their kids what they could not achieve, and thus end up messing up their children’s lives.

    @alka You are right Alka. I feel at this age, my son has the intelligence to understand and even logically debate values and moral issues. This is the right time to mould him.

  13. Grace and dignity does not come easily to those who strive to win even before the game has begun. The real winner is not the one who gets to carry the trophy home, but the one who plays the game to it’s best.


  14. @PN subramaniam Welcome to my space.

    @Arnab Well said! Welcome here.

    @IGBG True :). With kids, we need to keep reinforcing the morals with stories and loads of talk too ;-).

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