Let me start with the fact that I don’t hate anyone. Hates an ugly word that my momma said I should not say but how else can I adequately say that I don’t like the Patriots very much? I think the parody video, Beat Brady to the tune of Stay With Me by Sam Smith, by Jason Bojangals captures what many of us feel.
We don’t like it when our team doesn’t make it to the big game but we also like to turn our disgust on those who we perceive to be perfect. Why? The answer is simple to me, we are not them.
Think about it. Media glorifies and magnifies “winners”. We see it on ESPN, the nightly news, the internet and so on. I went to the LSU and Notre Dame (Go Irish!) Music City Bowl this year and after the game I felt pride in my team for their win but some LSU fans would have none of that. As Irish fans shouted, whooped, and hollered, the LSU fans screamed FU at them. Sore losers or something more? Is it a reflections of how people feel about their lives in general? One more loss, even if it is not ours, is a loss we take personally until we get a “win” and feel better about ourselves so we can allow other people to win from time to time. I could not see myself displaying such behavior if my team lost. I wouldn’t destroy the joy of their victory because of my loss. Although, I have done this in the past to my own son.
My son plays Magic the Gathering. I play along just to give him someone to play at home but I am not very good and rally do not seek to be any good. My brain only has so much space and I can’t see filling what small space I do have to fill it with what cards do what. When my son creates a new deck and wants to challenge me I relent and play him knowing that I will get destroyed. Since I could not win, I became sarcastic, demeaning, and a pretty pis poor loser. Not the kind of dad you want to compete with. I later apologized and explained how I felt.
I told my sone that I was a poor loser but here’s why, losing sucks. Yes, I hate losing but not just losing, I hate losing knowing I am going to lose. I shared with him that if I at least thought I could be competitive I could lose more graciously. If we played on even ground and our decks were similar I would have no problem losing. But, that’s on me. I don’t put the time and energy into being competitive which makes me a terrible loser.
Perfect, however we define that, is like a mirror in our face every day showing us who we are not. We know the ground somehow will never be even between us and the perfect people. Yet, some have overcome that fact to become who they wanted to become. I recently listened to a podcast my Pat Flynn where he interviewed Kimanzi Constable. Kimanzi was a bread truck driver for 12 years and now he has written several books and speaks around the country. Kimanzi is endearing, hard working and deserving of all the success he has experienced. And, he’s not so perfect. I liked him up until I compared my life to his and why I haven’t had the “luck”he had. Don’t get me wrong, I work hard at what I do, but his success came before mine and that’s all it takes sometimes to create the perfect foil. I am not where I am because someone cut me in line.
I still “hate”the Patriots and want the Seahawks to crush them not only because my Giants are not in the Superbowl but because I think the Patriots have “had their turn”. I’d rather see the Bengals in the Superbowl than either of these teams. Let’s give the little guys a chance, until they get too popular, too arrogant, and too perfect so we can hate them too.
Some wisdom I am seeking to follow
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.…” Romans 12:14-16
“For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding. 13But we will not boast beyond our measure, but within the measure of the sphere which God apportioned to us as a measure, to reach even as far as you” 2 Corinthians 10:12-13
If you are in the ministry, have you ever hated the “perfect church” ? Why?
Finish this sentence, “If I only had ….. then I would….” Is this true or an excuse for not doing our best work?
How has comparing yourself to “perfect” people hurt your chances of being the best you can be?