I recently went to my daughter’s elementary school talent show. There were lots of kid-performers that tried out, and all of the kids who wanted to be on stage got to be in the show. After all, these are children, so no one wants to tell a child they can’t be in the show. There was a wide variety of talents that “tried out”, and made it.
The night of the show, there were so many kids performing, that it went on for more than 2 hours. During the performance, as an audience member you knew which children were gifted, and which kids needed to practice a little (or a lot) more.
We all sat and watched as some little girls did some Lady Gaga songs, and made it into “The Hits of Lady Gag”. There were dancers that ran into each other on stage, forgetting their movements, a saxaphone player that screeched the national anthem and a kid that jump roped and tripped himself. It was kind of painful to watch this show to the end.
Not every child was bad. A few of them were actually quite good. There was a little ballet dancer that was born with grace, a gymnast that bent in ways that only a little child can get up from, and some really good singers that remembered all the words and hit all the notes. That seemed like a major accomplishment, so we all clapped in appreciation. Those kids were great performers, and deserved to be there. However, there was one child that was truly exceptional, and in everyone’s mind, she was the true winner of the show.
Near the end of the show, when our ears were sore from all of those bad notes, and our backs were aching from the little school chairs, there came a breath of fresh air to the stage. A little girl, about 9 years old, came out in a beautiful dress and quietly sat down at the piano bench. She paused for a few seconds, and then began to play a difficult piece of music from Beethoven.
She played beautifully, and never missed a note. Her calming music piece settled the whole room and eased our nerves. I couldn’t help myself, and began to tear up after her performance. The audience was stunned, because no one else’s child even came close to that kind of talent. Everyone began to clap, even the other kids who were in the show. She had won, and everyone knew it.
My daughter, who had done a comedy act in the show, leaned over at me, and whispered “She was amazing. She would have won, I bet.” Even a child knows what a winner is and knows who deserves it the most.
I nodded in agreement, then looked over at her and smiled. She noticed the tear running down my face from this little girl’s performance. She handed me a tiny lunch napkin from the cafeteria table.
In our modern day culture, the word “winning” seems to have taken on a new meaning. When you win something, it used to mean that you were exceptional, a person of true character and real determination. After all, only “winners” exhibited the dedication to achieve the big finish. Today, that just doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. In America, we now have a society where “we’re all winners” seems to be more popular, and is widely accepted. If we all win, there are no losers, right?
The losers will always out-number the winners, since there is only supposed to be one. However, by allowing all of us to “win”, we are defeating the real winner of the game. A real win is an honor, something of value. In order to win anything, it takes time, patience and tenacity. Are we even really trying anymore, if the win is guaranteed, why bother? We will get a trophy just for showing up. When we play something that “guarantees a win” it’s not really a win, that’s a give-away.
In this new mindset of “we are all winners”, let’s look at the effects of the “group win”. A group win doesn’t benefit us at all, it only pacifies the crowd. By definition, the term socialism is “control of the means of prodution and distribution in the community”. When you pass out something in equal amounts, you dilute and divide it.
We must remember that if we want to win, we have to do the work. If we want the dream, we have to go get it. Technically speaking, if we are all winners, we are also all losers, too. If we don’t distinguish one from the other, then we are losing out on a true winner’s victory.