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Big A is not a good loser. He gnashes his teeth and goes around with a dark cloud hanging over his head. When he was younger, he used to lash out with his words and even his fists.
I keep encouraging him to accept the fact that he will not always win, even at times when he knows that he has tried his best. I try and explain that it is how you play the game that matters most, not what happens in the end. I also try to exemplify how a good loser should behave.
This week was a great opportunity of showing him an example of a good loser via the Romney concession speech. Here's the link, if you are interested. To drive it in further, I also showed him John McCain's concession speech, which I thought was even more poignant and gracious. Link here.
Before showing him the videos, we discussed how each must be really feeling; how much money, time and effort each had poured into the campaign; that they worked tirelessly for over 4 years for it; that one of them had not even considered defeat and had not had his concession speech ready when the results were announced. While watching the video, we talked about how each smiled, when they probably just wanted to cry, how they thanked all their supporters and family, and how they sent out their congratulations to the winner.
We discussed feelings versus actions. I pointed out that in privacy, these men may have shed tears, but in front of everyone, they retain a dignified demeanor and accept their defeat. He asked whether they would really have cried and I said that they may have cried when they heard the result and I was pretty sure that they would cry afterwards. Because it is perfectly acceptable to me for men to cry and mourn their loss rather than rage and rant.
Big A asked, "But, doesn't that mean that they're just acting?" It's true. It is acting to a certain extent. But, a reaction of smiling and being gracious in the face of defeat rather than screaming and striking out at other people is what distinguishes civilized human beings from savages.
Now, if only some other grownups would feel the same way......
(FYI: This post is in no way an indication of my political leaning! :))