Hey Politicians – Play Some Board Games!

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WooHoo the elections are over!  And while you may wonder why an article about politics is on Global Toy News, it’s not because I’m going to talk about some sort of safety legislation but instead about winners and losers.  On every news channel last night there were politicians giving concession speeches or victory speeches, because unless you ran for the governor of Illinois, there was a point when it was determined that you won or lost.   In a way, I wish we could have seen those speeches BEFORE we cast our ballots because I believe that how a person reacts to victory or defeat shows a great deal of their character.

In Illinois, as well as a number of other states, there were lots of close races.  Candidates were winning by margins of 1-2% and while 1-2% of 3.5 million (or even just 200,000) is a LOT of votes.  Winning candidates have to realize that there were a significant number of people who voted for their opponent.  So it baffles me that there were politicians who chose to talk about “crushing” their opponent, or calling them “vicious” and “negative” in their acceptance speeches!  I saw ALL of the negative TV ads; no one was playing nice.  But the game is over, politely accept victory and quit bashing your opponent – they LOST!  

There were other candidates who had extremely gracious acceptance speeches vowing to do their best to represent all of the people within their district without regard to who they voted for and offered the proverbial olive branch to their opponent.  And vice versa for some of the defeated contenders.  While this may be politics at it’s best – smiling and kissing babies — it’s also an attitude we should take note of when it comes to wining or losing.  There is no point to bridge burning because you may end up in the same fight in the future and the outcome could be different.

Personally, I believe that spending a lot of time playing games can teach adults and kids how to have a good winning or losing attitude.  Sure, it hurts to lose an hour-long game of Scrabble especially when your opponent seemed to be the luckiest person on Earth, but stomping off or dumping over the board doesn’t encourage your opponent to ever agree to a rematch.  Being able to say “hey, great game” whether you win or lose is a life lesson that everyone should know.  Whether you’re in business, politics or just outvoted in a PTA meeting, accepting the outcome with grace and dignity typically earns you respect.  While it may not wipe away some of the negative remarks you made about your opponent during the battle, it will start your reign as victor off on the right foot.  So learn to be nice, play more games!

 

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