Everyone in his lifetime has been through situations of loss and defeat, especially when pitted against another. It may be a battle, war, political elections, contest, game, academic honors and awards, nominations for prestigious awards or any such like competitions. Only two kinds of characters are given focus and judgment here, the winner and the loser. Other terms for those characters are the aggressor and the defender, the able and the weak and the undefeated and the defeated.
The winner takes all the credit and the loser, all the blame. The bottom line is the attitude of the contenders in each competition. One may be overconfident and proud while the other humble and resilient and a good sport. Once the verdict is known, everybody gets to see how the two act up.
Ceremonially the winner will shake the hands of the loser first with a word of encouragement while the defeated will also take his hand and pat him in the back with a congratulatory greeting. Sometimes, though, there will be insults, boos, and walkout, compounded by the noises of condemnation from the crowd. This does happen in a boxing match, game, or contest. In awards, though, the characters are many and are more professional in taking defeat.
Defeat, to some, may be a blow to their pride and will take it with bitterness of heart and ill will. We learn from life’s experiences of losers who did not accept defeat gracefully and, most often, are listed in the hall of the least liked or infamous. It is the gracious one who is given the spot in the limelight or recognized in the Hall of Fame.
Let us learn what to do in times like this. First, we should be aware of our capabilities and our capacity to do better and more. Our humble acceptance of who we are and what we are capable of will help us better prepare for any challenge. It is wise also to assess the potentials of our opponent and study his peculiar ways so we can best prepare ourselves for surprises. Let us always be humble. We must understand that our opponent may have superior qualities from ours. It is best to be confident with our own prowess and use it wisely without boasting about it. Let us never ever degrade the opponent as it will backfire on us.
At the time of defeat, we should be humbler to admit our weakness and vow to bounce back to do better in the next round of competitions. We may, indeed, feel apologetic, dejected and emotional about the loss but we should not let it rule over us to the extent that we lose the stamina to continue with our calling and even our life.
For a team, we should not blame the other members for not putting up more fight, just because we think we are the only ones working so hard during the game. This will cause the members to feel resentment and disgrace. Together the members make the effort to train better and become responsible players in the game.
In the political arena, the competition is more contentious and hostile. Candidates on the campaign trail do mudslinging on their opponent. The smear and degrade strategy heat up and only the formidable one gets elected. The winner has more to celebrate because, after all the bad publicity and denunciation about him, he was the people’s better choice. On the other hand, the ones who raised themselves up while putting their opponents down will have a hard time accepting defeat gracefully. Others continue to be aggressive in putting their opponents down even when they are already in office.
Experiencing defeat is just a lesson to learn from. It helps us correct mistakes and formulates new strategies on how to deal more challenges. We see the game as a challenge and also enjoy the fun of competing. We may bow out of the game defeated for now and accept defeat gracefully. The next time around we will be bowing to victory. It is all in the game, win or lose.
Accepting defeat gracefully is a virtuous act and a humble loser is a virtuous one.

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