How to Be a Loser and Survive?

How to Be a Loser and Survive?

It is actually easy – you will probably never experience a burnout. No, I am joking. But seriously: Who defines a person as a loser? The person herself/himself or others? What are the basic criteria for this kind of a definition? Or is the word ‘loser’ just a label, almost a curse?

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines a loser as ‘a person who is incompetent or unable to succeed’. In my opinion this definition applies more to certain situations and cannot be viewed as a general description of somebody. For example I cannot drive hence I am a loser as a driver. I was trying to drive for years, but the fear of driving grew stronger instead of getting weaker, so I quit. Yes, I am definitely a loser as a driver, but not a loser in general.

There were times though when I was practically misusing the dictionary definition of a ‘loser’. I was trying to convince myself that by listing all my individual flaws I can prove that I am a loser as a person. In our competitive Western culture, this is really an easy job to do. You simply find somebody better than you in everything you do and the conclusion is: ‘I am a loser.’

The turning point for me was the ultimate realization that the only sensible comparison is between ME a year ago and ME today. Have I made any progress in the fields of work or aspects of life, where I tried to invest time and energy? No two persons on the planet have exactly the same genes or exactly the same past. Thus there is no basis for comparison between me and others – a word of wisdom I have come across in many self help books.

Senior citizens that remember the hard times after the World War II actually remember it with joy. They say: “There was not enough food, not enough clothes, there was scarcity wherever you looked. But we were happy.” I always ask: “How is that possible?” Their replies are very similar: “We helped each other instead of competing with one another.”

To sum up, material abundance gave us a lot, but also took away something. Thus maybe we should not be so afraid of recession. When we do not have enough money to compete with our neighbors, maybe we will start helping each other instead. Lack of competition might eventually lead to a better self-image and limit the use of the word ‘loser’ only to certain situations rather than applying it to a person as a whole.

4 Responses to “ “How to Be a Loser and Survive?”

  1. Rachel Sersha says:

    What a piece! I myself use this word to describe my life in general too much. I feel like our culture (at least Americans) there is such a push to succeed, at the cost of everything else. If you haven’t done that, you can feel like a “loser”.

    • Helena Smole says:

      Thank you for your contribution, Rachel. The situation in Europe is quite the same. The mentality ‘push push push and then doctor fix me’ still prevails. Regards, Helena

  2. Tanja Jazbec says:

    This time I must say that you made very good post and everyone who will read this can not go ahead without thinking about what you wrote. Perfect tnx.

    • Helena Smole says:

      Thank you, Tanja, for your comment. I am glad I have managed to write down the unspoken words of many Westerners. Regards, Helena

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