I want to start off by inviting you all to read a story that I posted to the blog yesterday. It’s quite long (about 16 pages double spaced) but so far I’ve only had positive feedback. It also didn’t post properly to WordPress, so I am worried that some of my normal readers may not have seen it. On to the discussion!
Ok. Tough losses last night for the Sanders community. I feel like there are two ways that people take losing. There are two archetypes that I can think of for people who lose—those who take it with grace and those who displace the realities. I say archetypes because the reality is that anyone can be a sore loser about something if the mood hit’s them right. Heck, I’m pretty good about losing, because I’ve done it so many times, and I still get caught up occasionally. Some of the more zealous Bernie supporters epitomize this. Sure, there are definitely arguments that the system is rigged, or that the polling stations “misread” ballots, and while those errors (or “errors,” depending on your view) are unfair and unacceptable, they also are very few and far between. Excluding maybe the lines at polling places in Arizona, there really isn’t an excuse in this kind of argument.
Speaking of polling places, I had the best experience voting that I could possibly have. I mean, it was awkward that my mail-in ballot was sent to the wrong address, and I did not get it until the day before it was due, but hey, that just meant that I had to drop it off at an actual polling place. Anyways, I took it, and dropped it off with the people there. And the place was so empty. This is the real problem with the system—so few people feel the need to vote. “Good” turn out for us is 33%. I know it’s a choice to vote, but by not voting you remove the opportunity to choose a candidate.
Ok, I digress, make sure you vote in November, even if you don’t like either candidate that much. Moving on, we all know the bad losers. The guys and gals that say “my control broke” or “man if only that ref hadn’t been totally against us” every single time they lose. We get it, you’re insecure and don’t want to admit you just got out played (note that if either of these situations were true, it wouldn’t take an explanation). But the people who take a loss with grace are the kind of people we need more of in the world. The people who can bow their head and say, “yup. I lost. I’m not happy about it, but congratulations on beating me.” If you value yourself as an opponent in anything, then you should be the first to congratulate your opponent when they defeat you. Because that should mean a lot. I play a hobby fairly competitively, and I shake my opponent’s hand after every match not because I am happy that I lost, but because I am happy that they beat me. Not everybody can beat me.
Which is a good way to look at things. Not only does a person respect their opponent by taking a loss with grace, but they also respect themselves. The reality is there will always be time for a rematch later, but in that moment it is a kindness to accept being outplayed, or that someone got luckier than you. It happens. And that’s ok.