Everybody Loves a Winner

I read an article about the psychology behind winning today.  The link to that article is here:  I encourage you to read it either before or after you read this.

Winners Never Quit - Orange Leaf Consulting

Prior to looking it up, I had been considering the aftermath of the emotion, particularly the Democratic party and its supporters following the preceding Democratic Convention.  There is a jubilation, a hope that resonates with every word I have read.  The underlying theme, to me, appears to read, “Save us!”

I then began to look back upon the whole of 2020.  A stunted Impeachment followed by the invasion of a disease we should not speak of lest we offend those who gave it to us.  We have lost, in many respects, much of what we have come to know and love about America.  In some cases (mostly those of lower incomes) our livelihoods.  Those who are fortunate (and worked) to find themselves in jobs that allow working from home, life has been confining, inconvenient and perhaps even depressing.  For those in “essential” jobs, we have sat and watch as they conquered the fear permeating the masses and manned their posts while others sheltered (supposedly) safely.  And then, there are the invisible ones – those who because of quarantine have lost what meager incomes they had and are left to hope and pray for the handouts of the government.  A one-time offering as it turned out due to the bickering between the aisles.

But there is more.  We have forfeited much of our entertainment.  Broadway has rolled up its red carpet and streets.  Movie theaters are shut down; no new release dates in sight.  And sports have all but gone on life support.  It is the sports aspect of this that has intrigued me the most.

From tee-ball up through the major leagues, sports fans have one thing in common: winning.  If we cannot become athletes ourselves, let us root for our team and cheer them on to victory, for in doing so, we become winners too!  Except – we’re not.  We’re fans.  Nonetheless, the excitement – the adrenaline rush is there and when our team wins, we become self-proclaimed winners vicariously. 

There hasn’t been much in the way of winning this year.  We have tried our best to get behind medical professionals, I believe, to assert the ever popular, “I knew it” when they blurt out something on national TV that we believe in.  But that is about as close as we have come.  Close, that is, until the upcoming presidential election.

If ever there was a time to want (to need) to jump on the winning bandwagon – it is now.  We have had nothing to feel good about (or at least we have convinced ourselves of that) and this is our last hope for the win, the adrenaline, the feel good about ourselves and our country moment. 

It reminds me of the stories (I have never been) where people find themselves wandering through the desert craving water only to find none; nothing but sand as far as the eye can see. 

Suddenly, as they reach what appears to be the end of their ropes, they look up and, in the distance, they see a beautiful pond – an oasis.  In their excitement they begin to use the last bit of strength they can muster to run towards it knowing their salvation is a mere moment away.  And as they dive in, they hit sand and realize – it was just a mirage.  In the back of their mind they may have known there was to be no oasis to quench their thirst.  But the mind can play tricks and their hope overtook their sense.  They wanted so desperately to believe – they did.  Doesn’t make it so.

So here’s my wrap up.  If you want to be a winner, you have to actually be in the game.  You can cheer, you can watch with apprehension.  Doesn’t make you a winner.  Never will.  Makes you a spectator. 

If you want something to feel good about, you have to do something yourself.  Watching someone else put in the time, the hard work, make the sacrifices that it requires to reach the top does not translate to you having reason to feel good about yourself.  It is a mirage.

I realize it has been a long, hot 2020 – but don’t drink the sand.

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1 Comment

  1. Dave Grossbard on August 21, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    Nice job Ellen