Exactly 11:15 pm of April 22 when I started writing this post while watching over my Grandma in the hospital with my cousins who had gone early to dreamland, writing it because of a thought that entered in my thinking, which had stirred me, where do you draw the line before conceding to a fight? When would you raise the white flag? When would you tell yourself that it’s over?
Such questions aren’t easy to answer, are they? Primarily because of the reason that humans are always perceived to be a fighter no matter what, a fighter despite positioned in the losing edge. We have always been conditioned to fight. Over money. Over love. Over studies. Over arguments and principles. We have never been programmed to give up, to step down, to give way which is why it comes so seldom do we think about drawing the line, knowing when and where to stop or give up.
It’s also a fact that we’ve also won many battles in our life. Against siblings. Against friends. Against our parents and even against oursrelf. Most of the time we exert efforts, GREAT EFFORTS, just to win because who doesn’t want to win in the first place? Winning has many perks. Not only does it feel rewarding, but it also makes your morale boost, your esteem leaping higher, the honor and dignity we earn when we win. Such in a nutshell is an explanation why Gadaffi doesn’t want to back down, why Bush really worked hard to cripple Saddam’s government then, why politicians bribe and buy votes to win. Again, winning has many perks.
In the process of trying to achieve winning, we do a lot of things, and to be exact, we prepare.
In sports, we practice. We tire one’s self, exhausting all means, just to outfight the opponent. So is true with other competitions. In debate, we conduct mock tournaments, compete against teammates, see who gets to argue better and help improve the other who has not done well. But those are somewhat petty examples or petty preparations if you compare it with the competition that matters most, life battles. In life battles, it is way much harder. Sometimes, it requires you to forget about moral and ethics and the teachings you got from your parents, making you unaware how far have you gone. Because admit it, sometimes, our moral consciousness is the determining point how far have we gone with our actions. How deep have you got. How much hurt have you caused. How much pain have you precipitated from somebody else’s hurting. All of these, because of not knowing when and where to draw the line.
But, what about losing? Why such word is abhorred by many? Why not give up? Why not draw the line and know when to stop fighting? Simply, we were not programmed to lose, or so we’re told. Losing is tantamount to crushing one’s pride, pride that has been earned because of winning and succeeding. As what others had said, “Pride is the one immaterial thing that is hard to swallow”. They’re right. Because consciously and unconsciously, we want to win, we sometimes do things far beyond the line, and when we win, we earn the pride. Forgetting about the broken morals, principles, the people stepped on, and the feelings and emotions that were crushed. All because of winning.
Drawing the line, how?
Maybe now is the time to change how we think of things, change paradigms. Maybe it’s time to embrace sometimes downfalls in life. But how? How do we draw the line? Simple..
- Know your limits– No person is so powerful and mighty that he does not lose. Even the greatest fighter, athlete, politician had his fair share of losing or being at the losing edge its’ because we all have limits. These limits make us human, and acknowledging that you are human is a sign that you are still aware of your morals, of your principles, and ethics that drive you to becoming a better person.
- Start to appreciate defeats– When you become a better person, how you understand the picture of a battle is improved, is changed. If before, it’s always about winning, now you’ll realize that everything is not all about winning. That it’s sometimes about losing. It’s true that you get to learn a lesson in winning, but what an irony would it be for us to know that the greatest lesson is learned in losing. Indeed, in losing is where we learn the greatest and the best lesson that one cannot see when one wins.
- Control– We sometimes get overwhelmed and when we get overwhelmed, just as what I had said, we forget about our actions, our morals, we forget sometimes that we’re humans. We eventually lose control. How sad would it be. But if we regain control, we know when to stop, we become conscious again, we accept that we are but a human being.
- Have your friends and family beside you– When you decide to give up, to draw the line and back down, it would hurt and would leave you hurting because it will crush your pride, eat your self esteem, devour everything in you, because losing is repugnant. But when you have your friends and family beside you to comfort, everything eventually eases away. And so will the feeling that shall fade away. You would even be aware that despite the fact that you have given up on something, there are still people in the world who have not given up on you.
But as always, it boils down to our free will, whether we want to draw the line or not. Sometimes, it’s better to because it’s a safe fight. Because it’s less risky though it does not really guarantee you of winning. But if you really want to win all the time, then, it’s your choice to make. It’s your life after all. It’s our individual life and we have the prerogative over it.
To win or to back down? You be the judge.