Sometimes there's more at stake in any competition than just winning or losing. We've just concluded our nation's 13th general election and the stake is not like getting a decorative medal. The experience could be so 'energy-zapping' for many. Maybe, it's easier to just talk about how my boys saw winning or losing from their perspectives.
April was a busy month for inter-school sports and the annual school's sports day. This was the time that Xianwei looked forward to the most. He has won a lot of running events that we've a collection of his gold medals at home. But this year was the start of a different journey for him. He's in the upper primary and have to compete with older, taller and stronger boys, not just from his school but with other schools as well. He's participating in more team events, ie relay races rather than individual races as well as volleyball games. It's a very good experience to open his eyes to see the real world with better, stronger players. Though he scored in his individual event, his team lost badly in the inter-school events, and missed the gold in the school's relay races. I was with him in most of these games, supporting the team. It's very tiring but I was glad to be there.
Everyone deserved to be a winner. These boys were simple - they're just glad they could participate and finish all the games. And those were the life lessons, more than what they could gain within the classrooms:-
- They felt bad when they're losing, but they would realise they're in the game cos they love it. They're not defined by the results.
- When the pride was hurt, they learnt to shake the hands of the other guys. That pride needs to be swallowed, and now.
- They're the underdogs in the inter-school games, but they learnt how to stick with it, that means, to keep trying, even when things were hard.
- When they blamed one another for making mistakes, they learnt that it's a team's mistake, not an individual mistake. When emotions got out of control, they saw how it could damage the team's spirit.
- They saw there're differences - schools that have sports facilities and full time coaches, and some who didn't have it all, but it's not always the determining factor of winning or losing. What brings results is the preparation, hard work, learning from failure and persistence.
- They saw the dedication & encouragement from their teachers in coaching them, supporting and cheering them on.
- We heard tis many times before - there's always another game, live for the moment, the sun will shine again, there will be another opportunity to get out there, to score again. Sometimes we hate it, but it is the reason we get up every day. There's hope for everyone, every day, no matter what game you are playing. Life is not defined by gold or silver...
March past with colours and fun.
Worth to mention that this was Brandon's first sports day in school. He was down with high fever and vomiting 2 days before the sports day and he was so miserable thinking he would miss it. He didn't - and he got himself a gold in the 50m run. He came home beaming with pride, cos he could run in the race, he could join in the fun and cheered for his 'green house', certainly worth more than the gold or silver.