Blessed with minimal athletic ability, I had many opportunities as a youth to reflect on the aphorism “It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.” The wisdom of that adage may temper the headiness of winning or ease the pain of losing, but c’mon … who wants to lose? Who doesn’t want to win?
The follow-on aphorism to the first one might be: “it’s not whether you win or lose, but how you win or lose.” If playing sports builds character, it’s in part because it offers opportunities to practice responsibility. Winners have the responsibility not to gloat and denigrate the losers, and losers have the responsibility to accept the loss. Winners and losers alike have the responsibility to treat themselves and their competitors with respect and dignity.
The reason players line up at the end of the game to shake hands with the opposing team reinforces the point: for everyone to win in the end, we need caring winners and courageous losers.
Please consider sharing this post with someone if you found it helpful.
You can sign up to receive these posts here.