Hump Day: Bitter pill of defeat tastes better with a slice of humble pie

Hump Day 2 croppedHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016
Moncton Times & Transcript

It’s that time of the year when it seems like there’s an awards show on every week. The People’s Choice Awards, Golden Globes, Grammys and a number of others ending with the pinnacle: the Academy Awards. There’ll be winners. There’ll be losers. There’ll be snubs. There’ll be surprises. There’ll be shoo-ins. Happens every year.

Although it’s difficult feeling too sorry for a multi-millionaire for losing out on an award, the public aspect to it has got to hurt. After all, in everyday life, we don’t have a billion people from around the world staring at us on television to see our reaction when we’re dealt a supreme disappointment. Being rich doesn’t mean your feelings evaporate, but the knowledge that you can just hop into your limousine afterwards, be driven by a chauffeur to your mansion and end the evening by taking a bath in a gold-plated tub filled with caviar and champagne must take a bit of the sting out of it, I’d hope.

I’ve always wondered what they’re thinking with their million-dollar smiles, million-dollar dresses, jewelry and tuxedos, when they hear another nominee’s name announced as the winner. They sit and smile. The cameras pan back to them throughout the winner’s speech to see if they’re crying yet. Nope, still smiling.

Most losers are quite gracious. Do they have much of a choice? Well, of course they do, but bitterness won’t do them much good. Besides, they can always slink back to that gold-plated bathtub filled with caviar and champagne and sit back while they’re hand fed grapes by a servant.

While it’s important to be a good loser, it’s also just as important to be a good winner. No one likes to see someone boast of a victory – unless you’re a professional wrestler. A bit of humility never killed anyone.

In politics, it’s especially important for winners to gather in others and make them part of the team. This is where many politicians fail. The stick with their old familiar campaign teams, especially after a hard-fought party nomination process, and then forget about their opponents’ followers who would be more than willing to help if they were just asked. With that said, there’s always bitterness among losers, too, and often they’ll take their marbles and go home regardless.

There’s nothing so profoundly sad as a bitter loser. In my mind, all it does for me is to justify in my mind that the right person won. A loser can be disappointed, but there’s no place for bitterness. You had just as much opportunity as the winner to emerge victorious. The blame game rarely works.

I’ve run for positions in various organizations I’ve been involved with over the years. From time to time, I’ll win. Most of the time, I’ll lose. I could not win an election if my life depended on it.

Obviously, that’s not the right mindset, but I’ve just come to accept the fact that I should not partake in elections as a candidate. Unless I’m the only one running, I rarely win. If for some reason I ever decide to run in any sort of election in the future, personal experience tells me that I’d better be prepared to work on being a good loser.

awardBut being a good winner in politics – or in any other domain – is just as important. Who wants a winner who’ll gloat and stomp around town sending all the people he defeated to the guillotine? Oh, the temptation would be huge, I’m sure, but it’s always best to try and make peace and move on. I’ve been on the losing end of various competitions – be they business, political or a number of other areas – and I’ve never regretted taking the high road afterwards.

I’ve also sat back and watched losers take the scorched-earth approach, namely burning everything in their path as they retreat. The problem is that often they’ll also burn their own reputations to the ground, too. Put that fire to good use and use it to bake a nice, juicy ‍humble pie. And when it’s done, eat a big piece of it. It may be bitter at first, but it eventually nourishes the soul and protects against future heartache.

Throughout our lives, we’re going to have glorious wins and humiliating defeats. If we accept that from day one and decide here and now to be the best winner and the best loser anyone’s ever seen, life will be so much more pleasant for everyone.

Of course, if you actually have a gold-plated bathtub filled with champagne and caviar, feel free to ignore this sage advice and sharpen up the guillotine!

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