Growing up with five siblings, games and sports could become very competitive. And throughout elementary and secondary school, we learned what it meant to:
- Be picked on a better team
- Earn (or receive) good grades or honors
- Compete for a trophy or title
Our Socially Constructed Realities (SCRs) about winning and losing were formed by these competitions, being selected or not selected, and who won or lost. Strength, wisdom, strategy and cunning were rewarded. Dominance had a place in all of our upbringings.
|What are your definitions of|
Winning and Losing?
(Photo credit: Getty Images)
As I grew older, I found that sitting around the kitchen table playing a game was about catching up with each others lives. Yes, someone did win the game, but the focus was on being together, enjoying one another's presence, and sharing thoughts or strategies about a certain play. The competition had lessened: it no longer felt like dominance but togetherness; helping to teach or learn.
Have you experienced a shift in Winning and Losing?
|What happens after you win or lose?|
(Photo credit: Winning Together, Atlantic Business)
Entering the last week and days of this Election Cycle, I wonder how our SCRs play out? Political ads and campaign speeches don't always focus on how to improve our society. Rather, it seems, the wording and energy plays off of our childhood experiences of dominance:
- I will beat you.
- We will win over you.
- You are losers.
Rather than using the Winners-Losers polarity, I wonder what would happen if the Winners (majority) developed a sense of responsibility towards the Losers (minority)? If we are really united (together) in this American Experiment, wouldn't we want to transition away from beating each other?
|Can we achieve our goals together?|
(Photo credit: Fight to the Top - Is Collaboration
the Next Competition?, The One Brief)
The goal of dialogue is to understand another experience, a different understanding, or a common objective. When we become aware that our Winning-Losing SCRs are in play, the invitation is to notice these learned behaviors... set them aside... and listen with the intent of learning a new way of coming together. Healing of this dualistic nature could open us to new options and possibilities.
- Am I willing to support the people who want to lead us?
- Can I set aside the dominance-framework (one side has won all the marbles on the playground)?
- Do I seek healing and understanding as our society moves forward?
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