On November 3, 2016, five days before the last election, The Good Men Project ran “We Must Talk About Losing: a parable about men and the pursuit of success, with and without mindfulness and The Golden Rule,” an article I wrote. Part of that piece is below; a link to the full article is included at the end.
. . . Mythology names the overindulged juvenile with an ego problem the purer; with no boundaries or appreciation for others. Purer doesn’t understand the laws guiding action and consequence, he can’t fathom the seeds of sacrifice or courage.
Purer sees everything as competition and does not examine his need to win. Once, someone taught him to steal, and then he learned to lie and cheat. His tool box featured abuse and control; fear and intimidation are the hammer and saw. Acting with impunity, greedy spirits ruled this man and he became “successful.”
He lived in one world and his spirit developed a shadow, casting coldness on his appetites and desires. His public identity left him insecure and defensive. He never had enough. He lashed out at others, ending each day in bitterness and frustration. He felt empty and wanted more. Evermore.
Senex is the wise elder, sharing and understanding him/herself as part of a community and family. His/her village raised a large garden and offered food to neighbors and the poor. They didn’t begrudge the poor, but gave thanks for their work. When a community member needed help on a roof, money to assist through hard times, or assistance feeding an ill child, he was there. He learned cooperation builds community.
He understood the world is set upon gravity—where buildings inevitably collapse—and knew that animals, plants, and people grew old and died. Not selfish or naïve, he knew that tides lifted and sank all boats. He’d seen some float and some sink, but all shared one sea.
Raised in respect, he observed the important work of bees and insects, how the sun gave and measured life, and the truth of the Golden Rule as the single consistency in all earthly steps. Life taught sobering lessons of gravity: that words and actions mattered for a long time. He was humble, generative, and real.
And then . . . they ran in an election.
Everyone knew the system needed reform. Both wanted to win, but one wanted to win because he was afraid of losing. He pledged to help others, but his life had not demonstrated he could or would.
The other wanted to win to serve all people. This was not obvious to everyone, and not many people believed him. But somebody was going to win the election and somebody was going to lose.
One would not accept losing. The other did not talk about losing. But we must talk about losing: talk about losing our civility, losing our religion, our homes, our families, and our earth. We must talk about losing our soul, losing our land, losing the republic, the society.
We must acknowledge we are already losing. A society that has deteriorated a greedy politic fed by anger and division is losing. Many citizens are already lost. I have not written about losing prosperity, I have written about losing the better nature of our humanity. To talk of and be conscious of losing is the only way to change from unity with strife to harmonious unity. We must talk about losing or we will never regain a humanity that can handle the truth of winning.