Winning, Losing, and Temper Tantrums

Even if your parents didn’t teach you otherwise, when you attended school you learned:

  1. Lying on the ground, stomping your feet, and wailing at the top of your voice was a lousy, ineffective blackmail scheme.
  2. Punching Johnny in the nose because he made fun of the way you swung the baseball bat was a better way of being benched than becoming a homerun hitter.
  3. Badmouthing those who weren’t as smart and talented you were did not earn you the spot as most popular. In fact, it didn’t earn you any spot on the Most Mentionables.

I only tried #1, above, once. FYI, pulling it in the grocery store and watching my mother scoot down the aisle and pretend I wasn’t her 5-year-old was both illuminating and humbling.

Life teaches us many lessons, many of which are repeated often throughout our lifetimes. One of those lessons is this: we can’t always have what we want. When we can’t get what we want, we have several choices, among them:

  • Keep doing what we’re doing, without changing our methods or attitude.
  • Change our methods of trying to achieve what we want.
  • Change our attitude and accept that we can’t have what we want–either in this moment, or ever.

We should keep these lessons and choices in mind as the national political process progresses. No matter the outcome of this year’s presidential election, some people will feel they’ve won and others will feel they’ve lost.

In reality, none of us will truly lose but some of us surely will not get what we want. Always remember that life is a cycle. Spring turns into summer, fall transitions into winter. Presidents come and go.

We can stomp our feet, wail in grief, attack the people who did get what they want, and/or use our words to spew our disappointment disrespectfully. In the long run, childish behavior won’t make anyone feel better and it won’t change the fact that we didn’t get what we wanted.

I hope and pray that we, as a country and as individuals, can move forward without gloating or spiteful behavior after this election is decided … and begin working together. It is impossible for a country with more than 300 million people to have unanimous consent. But it is possible for us to all act like grownups and do what we can to make our lives, and this country, better. If we are unable to make changes in this cycle, we always have another opportunity to so in the next cycle.

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