“There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win.” (Elie Wiesel)
The quote above from Elie Wiesel was used on the Jack’s Winning Ways blog recently. Jack went on to relate a story that you may have seen in the news – I recently read of a female softball player who was about to score the winning run in a championship game when she turned her ankle, fell to the ground, and couldn’t get up. The 3rd baseman and the shortstop on the opposing team picked her up and carried her to home plate for the score. That’s an example of winning by losing.
As a society we have become too fixated on score keeping, on winning and losing, on a zero sum game philosophy of life that somehow relates winning for one person meaning that someone else must lose. One of our presidential candidates seems to take great pleasure in characterizing people with whom he disagrees on various topics as “losers”.
To my way of thinking, if you can create a win-win situation, instead of a win-lose situation; then everyone can be happy because everyone feels like a winner. Life doesn’t always work out that way and sometimes you end up losing, whether it is in a sports event or maybe at work or in your personal life. In those times it is often hard to see a win for yourself.
Perhaps the win is in how you handle that adversity. It is a win of the soul. Nelson Mandela endured years and years of what most would see as a loss, suffering in prison for his anti-apartheid activities. Yet Mandela did not let his imprisonment conquer is will and his soul. At the end of each day of imprisonment Mandela could claim another day of winning – a victory of his soul and spirit over those who sought to break him.
In our day-to-day lives, there are many opportunities to win, perhaps by sacrificing of your time or money in service to others. Is it a win if you give up doing something that you might have wanted to do in order to help someone who perhaps struggles to do anything at all? I think so. Is it a win to spend time with a shut-in who otherwise might just sit and stare out the window at traffic going by? I think so. Is it a win to take the money that you otherwise might have spent on another pair of shoes or another outfit and donate it instead to help those without any shoes and standing naked or in tatters? I think so. What do you really lose in those situations, when compared to how much you gain (win) in your soul?
Perhaps as you start each day, instead of praying “Lord, let me win today” you should focus your prayer instead on, “Lord let me find a win in service to You and others today.” If you can achieve that you are a winner and the rest will take care of itself. Be a winner today!