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Fathers, Don’t Raise Your Sons to be Winners

Yes, yes it is very tempting.  If your life has been frustrating (and whose hasn’t?)its tempting, sure it is to decide to grow up the son as a weapon against those who have humiliated you.  He’s young and strong and courageous.  Teach him to do anything to win!   Don’t.  The world is complicated and faces real problems.   Brain tumors.  Globalism.  Climate change.  If you raise your son just to win he will not try to solve those problems — which require cooperation– and will resort to “Anything for a win” — lying, short-cuts, p.r., backstabbing, gas.  Not a good legacy for you!  Teach him to make everybody a winner!  Teach him to make the whole world a winner!  Otherwise he will contribute to the problems.  Otherwise he will be checker champion on the Titanic!  And be hollow inside.  And deep down hate you.

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4 thoughts on “Fathers, Don’t Raise Your Sons to be Winners

  1. Yes, but …

    Your argument seems more against being an amoral jerk than against being a winner per se (of course you define what you mean by “winner,” so there’s no complaint about that).

    Bruins coach Henry Sanders said that “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing,” but he meant “winning” consistently with the rules of football.

    Win-win outcomes aren’t possible in football, and I agree that those are best. But even in win-lose situations, if we win honorably, then we can enjoy the victory while even the loser, if rational, can respect it.

    • Our base impulses trigger win conditions (out of thin air) – in a chase reflex, we always think that to lose the prey is to lose and to catch the prey is to win.

      To encourage winning (without reference to any particular rule structure) is to encourage those impulses – which are from the stone age and are crap in terms of modern functionally and cooperatively dealing with the modern age.

      One might say Trump won because winning is encouraged – so many people want to re-engage their stone age impulses (to win) that they feel society is leaving behind. And Trump said they could.

  2. Many young men are introduced to life as a competition and Fathers teach that winning is the only answer. Education teaches the same values. Small wonder men and their fathers are combative. When that young man reaches 50 and realizes that his striving to win and setting one goal after another has robbed him of years of enjoyment…. For what? A degree, more money, better title, peer esteem? He first becomes angry and then pushes the blame elsewhere. Chances are he did the same to his own kids. There was no living in and loving the present. .

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