Friday, February 1, 2013


The trick to winning is recognizing that you get to define what "winning" means.

For example, if you see a little dog bites a big dog's ear, and then the dogs proceed to fight until the little one limps off, bloody and with quite a few new marks that are going to scar up, you might say that the big dog won. After all, the big dog is barely hurt, if hurt at all, and the little dog is going to be hurting for quite some time.

What you don't know is the history. You don't know that the big dog has been picking on the little dog for weeks, months, years now. Nothing major, but something painful, every day, at unexpected times. And the little dog took it, because the little guy could not possibly win against the bigger dog. The fight would end up exactly as you saw it end up--one is beaten bloody; one walks off with barely any annoyance.

So the big dog picks on the little dog, wins every day, until the day the little dog thinks, Screw this. And the little dog turns around, all teeth and claws. Still small, still hurt, and knowing exactly how this is going to go.

After the fight, the big dog walks off thinking, What a weird little dog, and never hurts the little dog again.

The little dog accomplished a goal. Who's to say who won or lost?

1 comment:

  1. The big dog thought the fight was over each day. The little dog realized the fight was ongoing. That is, another important component of defining winning is that it determines when the fight is over. You can (almost) always choose to keep fighting.


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