If we were to view life as an unequal contest between beings, there will always
be winners and losers for the objectives strived for. Whether it is a grim fight
for food between two predators, or a sports contest between athletes, it is a
case of the winners getting the spoils sought after and not the losers. In the
lyrics of the above song, it indicates a competitive element. The participants
in a contest would be of unequal talents and varying motivations. Finally, one
would emerge the winner, having succeeded by will and capitalizing on his
attributes like strength, cunning or talents. For example, the winner in a
talentime contest for singers would have displayed his talents for singing and
delivery But along the way, he would have displayed perseverance and stamina to
outlast the other contestants. In any contest between two participants equal in
abilities, for example, two tigers pursuing a deer luck may come into play. The
leading tiger may pull a muscle or stumble on a stone. Then the less able
contestant would snare the prey and emerge the winner.
There must be
advantages of being a winner, or there would no participants in contests.
However, there are also benefits acquired along the way for those striving to be
a winner. The contestants could have learned the virtues of hard work,
perseverance and fortitude. They could also
have been rewarded for learning to seize opportunities and when to be
aggressive, patient or discrete. The winners like those in a marathon or the
first man to achieve a medical breakthrough, would receive the praise and
accolades due to them from an admiring
people. Monetary rewards and fame could follow. What about those who have lost?
It is said that no one loves a loser. Take the Olympics for example. People
remember the recipients of the gold medals but do not quite remember the silver
medal recipients. For the losers, it would be hard to remember their
We should, however, commiserate with the
losers. They have displayed the courage of striving participants in a contest or
competition. They should be encouraged to continue taking part in future quizzes
or essays where the losers do not take away anything. Far be it for us to
discourage and add to the feelings of sadness and inadequacy of those who lose.
Losers should also learn to accept their losses as no one loves a sore loser.
Those who had lost should also learn to acquire the skills which winners
employed to emerge winners like skills of cultivating the necessary talents,
patience, courage, perseverance and so on.
We should also consider whether there should always be winners and losers.
Why should there only be two parties, the winners and losers? The business world
has learnt to recognize the benefits of a win-win situation. For example, let us
consider this scenario. A firm could introduce a superior product, to the public
at a reasonable price. The public would take to the product and the company
could increase its profits through increased volumes even though the company has
lowered its usual price. The firm and the public would both benefit or be
We could introduce this 'win-win' philosophy in schools. Otherwise, the top
students are often feted, while the poor students at the bottom will be regarded
as dunces. This is not to disregard that competing or striving to be number one
fuels and achievement-based culture. However, it is good to recognize that every
participant in a contest is probably trying his best. Also, not everyone can be
a winner. Our role as non-participants should be to encourage all competitors
regardless of winners and losers. In the case of schools, a student should be
encouraged to develop his talents in whatever field he is interested in or has
an aptitude for. In this way, he can emerge a winner in his own right, if not in
school but later on in life.