“Loser” has become this generation’s new anathema. What could be worse? But wait, what does the record show? If you had paid more attention in your history classes, you might have noticed just how many losers end up winners. Well, they usually have to be dead first. But I’m just saying…!
The hottest example lately is Spartacus. You probably never heard of him in class, but ever since Kirk Douglas made the ancient Roman slave-warrior famous [ 1960 ] he’s been a screen hit. Similarly, there are other famous losers [ read killed or died-out-of-power ] like Caesar…Cleopatra…Joan of Arc… Napoleon… Lincoln…Robert E Lee…George Custer…Jesse James…Truman…Kennedy. I had several uncles who were big-time losers too, but I won’t force them into this august list.
To be sure, not every loser turns into a national hero after their death. But those who do may have something to say from the grave. For one thing, history is not written; it’s re-written by each generation deciding for itself how to judge a loser. For another thing, it’s always easier for a guilty nation [ like a guilty mourner ] to think good things about someone who is no longer with us. It sorta expunges our guilt plus gives us a safe new hero to worship.
This same chink in the armor of our tainted human nature needs to be re-examined every time loud verdicts are being rendered by the self-righteous. Say today! Talk-radio callers! cable-news pontificators! columnists, bloggers, and barbers across the land! Like the brawling fans in the stands, we can always play the game better; but only when we actually don’t have to play the game!
So a long reflective time out here, fellow citizens.
The next time we judge another — player, president, pope or even pop star — a Mirror Moment, please. Looking at our self, don’t we feel our losses in life should be judged in a boarder context than just the immediate moment? Just my latest action? Just my latest error? There’s more to me than just now!
But think how long it took some of history’s “losers” to be recognized as winners after all. If you don’t want to wait that long or see these people that dead, then please. A long reflective time out.
Filed under: Uncategorized