Posted by: Irene Fridsma | March 28, 2012

Winning and Losing

the art of losing isn’t hard to master (Elizabeth Bishop)
we learn it with practice and repetition
lessons begin
with a loss of baby teeth and mittens

but we want to win
we learn winning is good
losing is bad

winners are the best,
losers, well, they are losers

winners are elite
losers are at the bottom of the food chain

winners are strong fighters
winners stand above the rest

winners are rewarded
losers have to buy the beer

victors humiliate by rape and violence
winners have privileges

losers have punishments
more training, sit-ups

winners gloat over opponents

winners get the girl
losers are left alone

a dichotomy
good and bad
we are divided

what if there were another way
that pairs weak and strong
without judgement

we lack vocabulary to describe it

collaboration comes closest
it gets confused with compromise
and giving in
and succumbing
and a lesser solution

our vocabulary
doesn’t encourage
one to be better

it makes the loser
believe what is said
it defeats the person again and again.

yelling “try harder”
doesn’t help either


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