Losing with Grace

Friday, January 15, 2021

 Barely 2 weeks in and 2021 already feels like it's been a long year and a half. This feeling is especially intensified if like me, you're hooked on the 24 hour new and drama cycle that is the current state of politics and society in the USA. 

With the fallout of the 2020 US election that was won by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,  one thing that's playing out on the world stage is the incumbent president's inability to lose with grace. Watching the ugliness and pettiness that has emanated from this once-esteemed office has emphasized to me the importance of losing with grace. 

What is defeat (losing) and why does it hurt so much? 

Defeat against a real or imagined opponent strikes at our core and sometimes that core is 100% pride and 0% self awareness. If we lose perspective in moments of loss, we magnify the loss into being a statement of our value and worth as human beings. In the myriad of emotions that follow a loss, wounded pride is one emotion that can emerge the strongest and most harmful. The loss becomes not just a statement of our efforts being second to someone else's first, but a big blow to our pride. And unhealthy pride always demands to be salvaged and avenged. 

The vengeance that a hurt pride demands can lash out blindly and with dire consequences. In the case of the US elections, we see a society badly hurt, behavior norms shattered, lives lost and souls disillusioned all because one person refused to lose an election with grace. To me, it was a scary sight to behold and my heart broke a little more for the picture of the United States that was put on display. This moment shall pass, but the scars will remain. Scars inflicted by a prideful man who refused to lose with grace. 

Coming closer to home, how many scars do we leave on our children, partners and loved ones when we are unable to be graceful in defeat or loss? How do we manage the blows that come our way when in victory, we inevitable damage the pride of the person we vanquished and they lash out in our direction?

I've spent this last week pondering the choices that I make in victory and defeat and I hope you do the same. 


Ecclesiastes 9:11 Again I looked throughout the earth and saw that the swiftest person does not always win the race, nor the strongest man the battle, and that wise men are often poor, and skillful men are not necessarily famous; but it is all by chance, by happening to be at the right place at the right time. (Living Bible Translation)



This was the best thing I watched on the Capitol Hill terrorist attack

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