Teaching to Lose

How we teach our children how to lose is now almost more important than teaching them to win.

The world is watching in horror and disgust as a man who has fairly lost refusing to accept that loss is possible. This seems in large part due to his family upbringing and dynamics, but it is lesson for everyone ā€“ teachers, parents, adults and children ā€“ that winning is not everything.

How this can be accomplished I have no idea, but that is must be done is beyond question. We are at a juncture in human history where always winning and having everything we want, that bigger is better and enough is no sufficient, is no longer tenable. Every year having to have the latest mobile phone, a smart TV, a better tablet is destroying the planet and costing the lives of those who must mine the rare elements that these sorts of devices require.

I remember in the 70s there was a movement focused on voluntary simplicity and something similar, perhaps, needs reviving or reinventing to suit today’s challenges.

We need to learn that faster is not better. Over here in the UK, the faster is better model is destroying ancient woodlands. It is cutting down oak trees that at hundreds of years old, and at the rate of climate change I doubt that the coming environment will be suitable for oak trees who are young now to live long enough to be hundreds of years old.

Faster is better is all part of winning at all costs. And it is destroying our planet and our politics. It is destroying the goodwill of nations and individuals within them.

We must learn that slower is alright and that losing, well, it happens and being gracious in defeat is a huge statement about the person who concedes, as it is when the winner is not affirmed and is derided.

There is not much time left for us to get these lessons and to teach them. If we do not then . . .

One thought on “Teaching to Lose

  1. Well said. I am particularly affected by the fact you state that the current young oaks will not survive in the climate that awaits them before they have had a chance to age as some current majestic oaks. That is just heartbreaking to me as I watch the breeze rustle the few remaining autumn leaves in the 30 year old oak behind my house.

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