Rotten Victories


Our society is hardwired around the concept of victory. Contests, elections, bids, competitions, and almost everything else are all built on winning. On the very simple idea of a winner - someone who receives all of the positives, and a loser - someone who receives nothing in a best case scenario, very often getting all the negatives attributed with the wider outcome.

Winning is fun. It's quite easy to motivate oneself to do something, when there is a clear, probably achievable, "packet" of success. Want to win an electoral race? Win 50% or more of the votes. Everybody gets it.

Watching is fun. Even when you yourself are just a spectator, watching people win and lose is fun within itself. Who's gonna win? Why? When? What unpredictable outside factor may change the winner? All of these questions are enticing to ask, and satisfying to answer. Good ol' entertainment.

Loosing is miserable. Even though you did everything you could, there was someone a tiny bit better than you. Just a reminder: that doesn't mean that they're a better person overall, it just means they were better at satisfying the given condition of winning. Yet, to very many losers, and even more watchers, viewing the winner as a superior human being is the default.

For me, this trichotomy shows very clearly that, in a sense, all victories are rotten. They always leave behind a trail of unjustified misery. The looser is not a worse person than the winner.

I've been on both sides many, many times. Yeah, winning is hella fun. You feel on top of the world. But loosing? Especially just after a huge win? Hurts so hard.

This system doesn't make sense. It only divides us. Our power as the human race lies in our collectivism, our fragile, yet virtuous ability to work together.

Let's not break that. Stop winning, stop loosing. Start collaborating.

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