Winner or Loser

The last days of school are upon us, and most schools do “field days” on the second to the last day of school so that class parties can be on the last day. These field days usually consist of running the track, jumping over hurdles, bean toss games and so much more. Most events are team events in which someone is picked as the leader who then gets to chose who is on their team. As my son was talking about this he made the comment “I wonder if I will be a winner or a loser”. When I asked him to clarify the statement he said you’re a winner if you are one of the first few chosen and a loser if you are a part of the last few kids chosen for the teams. My first response was “oh this is so sad” but in the world of kids this is how they see the choosing process. The kids are not winners or losers in general, but when it comes to what they are being chosen for this is how they are divided up.

In our adult world I would love to say that we are not this way, but we are. It’s different in the sense that it’s no longer winners or losers but is the person going to be difficult or not? Will they have a different view than us? Are they fun loving, and positive? Do they try and stand out or fit in like camouflage?

Think about this for a moment, when you are somewhere like work, and you are with a group of people that flow well together and get stuff done. What happens when the next shift starts to come in, or there is a new person that is getting trained up? The atmosphere changes, the flow is no longer smooth. The change creates a ripple, one that makes the task at hand not as simple to accomplish. When I first started in the vet med world, I was the one causing the change. I was working my way up from picking up poop and cleaning cages to working alongside some of the greats (in my mind) of the vet tech world. The two ladies in particular could have chosen to label me a “loser” someone who would make life for them a bit harder because they would have to train me, or they could do what they did and labeled me a “winner”, someone they saw had potential to learn and grow. When they gave me a chance it made me want to be better, focus more, and learn as much as I could.

As I watch my kids grow, and mature I see them move from the elementary school mentality of “winners and losers” to a more mature way of thinking in which they form educated choices about who needs encouragements vs. who can do things on their own. My middle daughter joined a club early on in the school year that dealt with engineering and science. While in this club she made a friend who became her teammate in a competition they had. The two together became a force to be reckoned with. They encouraged each other, bounced ideas of each other and held each other accountable for things as simple as did you eat food today to as complicated as building a working model for their project. They made each other “winners” by supporting each other.

Negative thoughts and actions create a atmosphere in which people don’t want to go near. People don’t want to be around others that will drain them. When there is a person that blames the world for their problems people shy away from talking or being around them. They would be the ones not chosen for the teams. As hard as it is, they have to create the change needed. They have to want to change. Everyone has their issues to deal with, their “crosses to bear”, including the ones that seem to have it all together. There is comfort in knowing that Jesus says in Matthew 11: 28-30:

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Each and every day we make a choice. We label people worthy or unworthy by they way they look, what they can offer us, what their political or religious views are. The list can go on and on, but the thing we have to remember is that the same people we are labeling are labeling us as well. So what do you want to be known for? Think about that this week. It’s not really about winners or losers, but about who we are and how we chose to act in this world. Until next time:

Don’t forget to love the way you want to be loved, listen the way you want to be heard, give the way you hope others give, care the way you want others to care, because change doesn’t start with them, it’s starts right here.

Madalyn Beck

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