We win some and lose some. Life is a zero sum game. Today we had three international games in which India played. The first was when an Indian won the Indonesian open badminton final. The second was a hockey match where India defeated its sub continental counterpart with style. In the third match, India lost to the better team of the day in the champions trophy cricket final. The whole nation forgot about the spectacular victories in badminton and hockey and was cursing the Indian cricket team for its loss.
The lesson I learnt today is our ability to accept loss in a game with grace. We cannot win every game in our life and there are days we may win and other days we may lose. We need to learn to accept victory with humility and loss with grace. I do accept that we are a cricket loving nation and this sport has almost become a religion in India. It brings together the whole nation and stirs emotions. But to swing to extremes of emotions on winning or losing a game may not be a good idea.
This phenomenon is true for life too. We may win on many occasions and lose in some. We need to learn to be humble in victories and reflective in defeat. This is easier said than done. We tend to get proud on being victorious in life. If we continue to top the class or represent the school in a sport, it may go into our head. We may get into the best school or college based on absolute merit. We may then end up in the dream company of our choice. All this should be accompanied by our feet firmly on the ground. We need to learn to realise that victory could any day be followed by defeat.
On the other hand, when we fail in an exam or do not get admitted to a college of our choice, we almost give up in life. Neither victory nor defeat is permanent in life. The earlier we realise this, the more successful we may be in life. In the cycle of life, victories and defeats are also cyclical. God bestows us with the best of everything in life based on our hard work and commitment. We taste success and the moment there is an aota of doubt that we have become proud because of our success, he gives us a taste of failure.
As the successes in life make us feel good and move forward, the failures in life should make us reflect, learn and bounce back. We neither should climb a tree and announce to the world that we have arrived on achieving our first success, nor we need to regret our first defeat in life. In my learning in life, failure teaches you more than success. Hence, the need to accept success and failiure in life with equal equanimity.
In my experience, success and failure in life is like the day and night. We can neither expect the day light to last forever nor expect the night to be omnipresent. Night begins when day ends only to give way to the next day. Sun sets today to rise again tomorrow. Just like the plants and animals learn to live with day and night, we as humans need to accept victories and defeats in life with equal respect.
As in the photo above, we can learn from a kid how to accept defeat gracefully when he is not able to climb a tree.
Every victory will make us proud and should do so. Every defeat will teach us lessons, which in turn will make us victorious in the future.
Is it time to learn to acceptdefeat with grace ?
S Ramesh Shankar