I was in the kitchen making lunch when I overheard one of my kids’ obnoxious shows. The main characters were gearing up for a dance competition. All the dancers had a big circle jerk about how great the others are and how they don’t want to compete because they all should win. “No they shouldn’t!” I yelled out. There are winners and losers in life and today we are breeding losers by telling everyone they are a winner. Competition breeds excellence. It is an old adage that has lasted because there is truth to it. We should all strive to do better in all we do. Whether it is biking, studying, eating, or beatboxing I say improve. Don’t expect to receive the rewards and accolades in life just because momma said you’re special. You’re not. You have to work, you have to put in the effort.
My son is in little league baseball. He is at the beginning level where they are getting the basics of the game. As such, there is no formal scorekeeping. Sure the coaches keep track themselves, as well as the pitchcount, batting order, etc. However, there is no team rankings or playoffs or singular congratulatory celebration to the winner. Both teams get cheered at equally, get their snacks, and get a participation trophy at season’s end. During one game a kid asked what the score was. The coach responded, “It doesn’t matter.” The hell it doesn’t! Why are we here? I can play catch in the backyard with my son and save myself the time, money, and effort. Sports are supposed to teach kids to be better people, to work towards a goal. Instead nowadays, win or lose, we all celebrate like in Moneyball. Not me. Losing sucks. Winning feels good. Work to attain that feeling over and over again. Just like you and your crusty sock did when you were 13. My Cat 1 roadie friend was asked once if he just rides his bike to have fun rather than all the grueling race training he does. “Of course I do,” he said, “it’s fun when you win.”