AUTHOR: Carolyn Savage | POSTED: November 7, 2012 | COMMENTS: 12 Comments
I hate losing. Whether it be a game of Gin Rummy or a race up the New York Times best seller list, I don’t like it when an outcome doesn’t match my desires. Hell, during my childhood years I could flip a checker board with the best of them. Of course, my childhood tempter tantrum was always followed by a talking-to…
“Carolyn. You better learn to swallow defeat with grace. Nobody likes a poor sport.”
Of course, all of this is caused by my love for winning. Whether it be a lasagna cooking contest or a hotly contested basketball game, I can dance in the end zone with the passion of any professional. Fortunately, for me, my moments of childhood gloating also came with a talking to…
“Carolyn. You better to learn how to win with grace. Nobody likes a poor sport.”
As a child, it seemed that grace was a difficult thing to attain.
Apparently, as an adult, it still is.
This morning all of us we were presented with a teachable moment for our children. Here in the battle ground state of Ohio, our families have been barraged with ads that predicted no less than the end of the world if “the other guy” won. Funny thing was, it didn’t matter who “the other guy” was. Armageddon seemed inevitable. As adults we can brush those messages off. Unfortunately, our children aren’t yet equipped with the same ability. This morning a little less than half our citizens woke up on a losing side. A few more ended up in the winner’s circle.
Our children are watching. Now more than ever.
It’s time for a lesson in grace.
In our house, this translated to advice for our older boys who were undoubtedly going to engage in discussions about the election during school. I reminded them of the wise advice that I received as a child.
“This isn’t time for endzone dances or tantrums. Nobody needs that today. Respect others’. Do not lash out. We’ve had enough debate for awhile. Right now people need time to process. If you find yourself getting upset, swallow deeply. Rest in your convictions but will yourself to listen. You will learn something. Oh…and all of that is easier said than done. Good luck.”
As I opened my Facebook feed this morning, I realized that it wasn’t just my teenage boys who needed to hear this. For every celebratory post, there was one filled with exasperation. Obviously, I relate to one group more than the other, but I took my own advice and refrained. I need to sit with this and I respect my friends too much to question any of their beliefs. I will not be dancing in an endzone, and there’ll be no public tantrums to behold.
I’ve learned that lesson.
Hopefully, my children are learning it, too.