Winners and Losers

Winners and Losers

Pentecost 176


In every contest there is a winner and then someone who did not win.  Usually that entity is called the “loser”.  In recent times a loser has been demonstrated by someone holding up their thumb and forefinger to their forehead in a perpendicular manner so as to form the letter “L”.  We forget that in the middle ages the word loser meant “destroyer”.


The term loser implies something shameful and yet, originally it meant something much more sympathetic.  Originally the word was defined as “being deprived of” so a loser was someone who had lost something rather valuable such as their heart or perhaps their mind.


In using the term loser and its meaning today of not being the winner in an important battle or contest, we neglect to consider all that it took to get to that final contest.  Recently two teams competed in baseball’s World Series, the final game series which, although played in the US, can include Canadians teams.  Neither team had participated in a World Series for over fifty years.  Just the fact they got to that point was a winning accomplishment.  At the end of the seventh game in the series one team was declared the winner and yes, the other team lost.  In reality, though, both ball clubs walked away with winning seasons and great accomplishments.  One team was merely deprived of a trophy.


The difference in a real winner and a degenerate loser is how one handles the outcome, in my humble opinion.  Very few contests allow for more than one winner.  Success is not just determined by whose name is in the winner’s circle.  True success is determined by behavior in times of turmoil and yes, even in times of not winning.


In 1744 the word “loser” came to mean “discouraged”.  I think this is the best way to describe a loser.  While we still have the will to do better, we never truly lose.  We must never become discouraged with living.  As long as we are trying to make the world a better place, there is always hope.  Winners never lose that hope or faith.  After all, all required to create something extraordinary is belief that it can happen.




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