Winning and Losing

We face many battles in life. Sometimes we win; sometimes we lose. It’s a fact of life. Winning always brings a feeling of euphoria. Losing, which in reality is more than just an antithesis of winning, can be like an open wound that takes a long time to heal – if it heals at all.

But, as someone said, life goes on. Reluctantly we trudge on, and grin and bear it like everyone else.


We learned about the concept of winning and losing at an early age. In school we learned the value of winning. Winners always earn respect and admiration from everybody. Winners are always awarded. With pride they take home the trophies and medals coveted by everyone else. Losers, on the other hand, bear the shame, and are quickly forgotten. Maybe even laughed at.

I was one of those overachievers in school. Sadly, the more awards I reaped, the lesser the number of true friends I kept. Jealousy and envy made sure that I lost all but the few genuine friends who really cared about me, the person. At such a young age, I learned that the top could be a very lonely place indeed.

Winning made me giddy with excitement and happiness. I feared losing so much, I had always strived to win. I didn’t win all the time, of course. But when I lost, I would always retreat into my gloom and doom and feel so sorry for myself. It wasn’t just a lousy feeling, you know. To me, it felt like being scorned by the rest of the world. How I hated feeling that way, but I just couldn’t help it.

However, as I grew older, I realized that whereas striving to win can always bring out the best of our abilities, it is not so valuable a teacher as losing is.

If you really think about it, only losing can teach us to be truly humble. Only losing can make us reflect on what really matters most to us. And above all, losing builds our character in so many ways that winning can’t.

In the end, it’s not so much about how much we have won or lost, but how we have performed in this so-called game of life.

Let us run and finish the race with joy and thanksgiving in our hearts, genuinely grateful for the life that has been granted to us, and most of all, never, ever forget that there is ALWAYS someone on the sideline cheering us on.

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19 Responses to Winning and Losing

  1. mitsuru says:

    winning is everything and losing s..ks! just kidding…haha.

    I used to be a very competitive person but now, i am just a happy-go-lucky guy living each day one day at a time.

  2. Abaniko says:

    If losing is learning, I think I’m a genius by now. Hehe.

  3. bw says:

    Totally agree with you. Competitive events for children be it soccer, baseball etc.. gives them the experience of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Definitely teaches them humility – both in winning and losing at an early age :)

  4. Gypsy says:

    Life is funny that way, isn’t it? Its the painful things in life that teaches more than the pleasurable ones…

  5. julie says:

    Wow, what an eye-opener! As we always say, it is not winning or losing that counts the most but how one played the game. But of course, winning is just like the icing on the cake and is best savored when achieved in a “clean” manner.

    Being competitive is good but there are downsides to it too. If we need to feel pain and learn life’s lessons the hard way, that for me, is not losing but winning.

  6. niceheart says:

    Our parish priest once said, “Failure can be one of the biggest blessings in life.” And he said that just in the most appropriate time. My middle son was then in the basketball league and his team was one of the low placers in ranking. It helped me explain to him that had he not been in that team, he wouldn’t shine. Because he did, he was one of the best players in that team.

    And I also try to explain to him and his brothers that it’s not always about winning and losing. Competing in basketball games and music competions is also about having fun. :)

    BTW, I love Aya’s reaction in that picture, her hands up in the air. She must have been rooting for that boy to win. :)

  7. verns says:

    I was like in Grade 1 when “competition” was introduced to me…and sadly it was against my first cousin. It was because of competition that we grew up fighting..fighting for grades, fighting for friends, fighting for attention…there was a point in our lives that we hated each other.

    But good thing we outgrew it but it took us years. There are some wounds inflicted so deep that we carried it even during our professional years, can you imagine? Though we were able to talk about it now, there are still some topics which we try to avoid..touchy and sensitive topics.

    Anyway I agree with your take about winning and losing…:) so true

  8. Leah says:

    There is always this euphoria when we win, when we achieve something. I think somehow, we want to be center of attention, even for just that moment. I hated failure…but somehow…I learned to face it too. Its the reality of life.

  9. kathy says:

    Live life one day at a time. For me this is very difficult to do. I always seem to think ahead, a year, five years, ten years into the future. I’m not saying that this is a good habit, though.

  10. kathy says:

    Haha, the way you expressed it, I couldn’t tell if you’re happy or not with being a “genius.” :)

  11. kathy says:

    And they really take competition here very seriously. I mean, during my daughter’s sportfest, I was surprised to find several children crying after they finished last during a relay game. And they are just five-year-olds! It sort of defeated the purpose of having fun, eh? But it’s all part of the learning process.

  12. kathy says:

    Gypsy, I agree with you 200%! And if I may add, it’s the painful things in life that teaches us with lessons that we never, ever forget.

  13. chelyn says:

    salamat po ms. kathy

  14. kathy says:

    Julie, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic. You’re absolutely right, learning about life’s lessons, although painful at times, is always a winning situation.

  15. kathy says:

    That is a really thought-provoking line – how could failure be one of the greatest blessings in life?
    Nobody wins all the time, but for each failure that happens to us, we can choose to use it to make ourselves stronger and likely to win the next time around.
    Oo nga, Aya seemed like the only one who cheered that boy to the finish line. Bakit kaya? 😉

  16. kathy says:

    Competition could really get personal particularly when relatives are pitted against one another. I’ve not had the same experience as yours, but to some degree there was some kind of competition in my family.

    But it’s good that you were able to outgrow that competition with your cousin! :)

  17. kathy says:

    That euphoric moment could be quite addictive, too. But somehow, for me, it doesn’t really last long. The pain of failure, on the other hand, seems to linger far longer. But you’re right, we need to face failure with as much courage as we can. It’s the way to grow and mature.

  18. kathy says:

    Chelyn! Thanks for dropping by. You’re welcome, too. 😉

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