The Importance of Losing
The infield of this particular track at Dunbar Park in Chicago hosts several tee-ball and tiny-tot little league games, so while I ran myself in delirious circles, I was entertained by our national pastime at its tiniest level. Sort of.
I understand tee-ball and coach-pitch teams are for the young ones. I would guess they were between 5-7 years old. But some of what I saw on those fields turned my stomach.
During one game I counted 20 defenders in the field. In another, a kid grounded out but was still allowed to occupy first base. I even heard “let’s have a do-over” from one of the “coaches”.
I know we live in a semi-psychotic, hopey-changey surreality, where everyone is a “winner” and negativity is shunned like logic at an evangelical mega-church. But I think people are missing the point here: there is very valuable lesson in failure.
Life sucks sometimes. It’s hard. It’s cruel. It’s relentless. But it’s also rewarding and serendipitous and full of potential. If we rely on sheltered observations to teach our youth that failure and shortcomings are not a part of the process, then we are going to end up with a planet full of passive, stale, robots incapable of innovation and creativity.
Mistakes are a part of the success equation. Let’s not rob our future of that valuable lesson.
Also, don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.