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Talking It Over -- The winners and non-winners

With the start of school we have entered a time when there are a lot of competitions. Not only in the gyms and on the fields but also in the classrooms, at non-athletic contests and in our daily lives. There will be some people happily taking home top prizes while others will be forced to settle for the non-winners circles.

To be a non-winner is not always easy. I have to emphasize that by not winning a competition a person or team could not be termed "losers". They simply did not win but gave it their best and that is never a losing cause.

Other than the athletes or competitors there is also another vital group involved in games, contests and even our daily lives. Those are the fans. Fans can encompass parents, family members, friends and peers. They can be a large group or just a hand full of supporters. However their actions, words and support weigh heavily on a competition and in life.

We often hear about "sportsmanship" when it comes to sporting events. A term we use to define not only how team members react and treat each other during a game but also how the fans act before, during and after. It is a "big" word for all the 'small' comments, cheers and actions that it encompasses.

I feel that sportsmanship should also be shown in other walks of life. Naturally it should follow to non-sport competitions and also throughout our lives. In classroom settings being a good sport could mean being kind and courteous to your fellow students and teachers. It could mean not teasing, gossiping or bullying. Being a good sport can enter into everything you say or do.

This can also be said for those of us in the work force. Sportsmanship can be used as we work with others, compete for higher positions, and deal with difficult situations. We can't always win in these situations so sometimes we just need to be the better non-winner.

Winning is not always everything. Learning from the experience, taking on the challenge and just interacting with other people can be the ultimate prize. In all of lifes competitions there are no real winners and no losers. If we take and make the best out of each situation, then we add a small victory each time just for ourselves.