Magnanimous In Victory, Graceful In Defeat (With Love From Dad)
Nigerians have a collection of some of the most innately proudest tribes on the face of the earth, which makes it difficult for them to handle victory or defeat healthily.
Be magnanimous in victory, and graceful in defeat is one of the most underrated sayings in the history of mankind. This is despite the fact that man has been a race that has nonstop been at war with itself.
Every civilization, tribe and nation knows that it will win some wars and lose some. They have experienced both victories and defeats. Yet, the way we handle either of them has hardly evolved throughout recorded history, despite the evolution in warfare technology and tactics.
In your personal life, there will be ups and downs, rivals and partners, friends and foes. There will be times when you are right and times when you are wrong. How are you supposed to behave at each of these moments?
Firstly, learn your lessons. When you lose, it is obvious that you could have done better. You review incidents where you miscalculated, misaligned and misapplied, then you learn from it all and move on.
What about when you win? Every victory could have been bigger, better and more decisive. Take your time, comb through everything that happened. Where could you have done better? How could your opponent have done better and it would have troubled you? What will be the fixes to your opponent doing better? Most importantly, looking at the big picture, did you just win a battle while on your way to losing the war? Look at the bigger picture.
Secondly, respect your opponent. There was most likely going to have been one winner and one or lots of losers. Respect them all. It is not a contest if it involves only you. And if you always have walkovers, you’ll never get to evaluate your strengths or weaknesses, neither will you realize the areas you need to fortify yourself.
Thirdly, be magnanimous in victory and graceful in defeat. No. Winners do not have to take all. Most times, you do not need the spoils of war. You do not need to pillage and punish the vanquished. You do not need to hang their heads on stakes. You won, move on.
Don’t make a habit of rubbing salt in their injury. Don’t make jest of them. There is a lot more winning and conquering to do. Move on.
And if you have lost, congratulate the winner and move on. Don’t sit back to sulk like a spoilt child. Your loss might not have been fair, but there is always going to be another chance, even for something greater.
Respect is reciprocal. If you treat the loser with respect, that reduces the chance that the seed of vengeance will be planted in their hearts. If you treat the winner with respect, that increases the likelihood of them giving you your due respect, giving you the chance to learn from them or partner with them.