Am I the only one who is dismayed by the Win/Lose or “win at another’s expense” mentality today? Is it just I who does not understand the celebrations of “good fortune” gained by taking advantage?
Today, calamities like foreclosures, unemployment, disease, layoffs, deaths, tornadoes and other misfortunes are not personal or predictable – yet to listen to those who benefit from other’s losses, you’d think there must be skill in avoiding these. Today you can be on the sunny side of the street (financially or otherwise), and tomorrow you can be down and out. While lifetime employment used to be the norm, today millions of unemployed say otherwise. No longer are personality, work ethics or skills enough to stay employed – with so many Americans out of work through no fault of their own, it could just as easily be you or me!
Yet our press favors the 1% rich or those who act like them, as “winners” and disregards everyone else. (Perhaps this sells more papers.) For example, headlines celebrated the good fortunes of condominium bidders who “earned” a property with bids less than 10% of what owners paid for the same properties only 4 years ago. “Properties bought for a mere $7500 that sold for over $50,000 in 2007,” boasted the article. What about the homeowners who lost the properties in foreclosures and whose dreams of home ownership (let alone life savings) were shattered by job loss and foreclosure proceedings? When someone wins and someone loses, our society suffers. Sure, one side wins financially at the expense of the other, – but I believe society ends up with a net loss in terms of morale, stress, and fallout of family breakups. (The Tampa Bay Times reported last week that the 50% US divorce rate was actually 75% here in Florida. I wonder if there is any relationship with FL’s unemployment figures…) How does it affect our societal health when a segment of society takes advantage of others left foraging for their necessities.
A couple of weeks ago, the same newspaper described how hundreds of homeowners in Florida used a loophole to pocket insurance proceeds for vacations and luxuries intended for home sinkhole repairs. Fraud perhaps, but legal according to Florida law – and the “proud” recipients beamed at readers from full-size photos. The insurance premiums of all Floridians will increase because of these wins.
I believe that the universe has infinite capacity for abundance when it comes to prosperity and positive energy. Witness the upward energy amplification that enthusiasm and optimism can generate in a crowd! There is no indication that the universe needs to balance prosperity with misery or wins with losses. Win /win situations lead to openness, innovation, creativity, health and increased fortunes for all.
Perhaps there is some pleasure in taking advantage? It is really a win when success comes at the expense of a corporation, government or people. Does it matter that it is not illegal? Can society gain when some bend moral values to justify unethical behavior? When winning comes at the price of an unfair (or unscrupulous) advantage is it really a superiority of wit, skill or intelligence that prevailed? More often than not – it is sheer luck or opportunity that separates the winners from losers… and if the win/loss mentality continues much longer, we will all pay the price.
Win/Win events give us Hope…
Tonight, in a departure from regular news, a network broadcast featured the story of our local Gulfport, FL idea to assist one of its own. This coming Saturday, instead of following the Win/Loss trend, neighbors are gathering at one resident’s house to repair damage from a kitchen fire, clear brush, and in the words of the homeowner “do in one day what it would take me two years to do.” It was uplifting and motivating to listen to both the recipient and the helpers talk about the plans. Participants are donating time, supplies, skills and equipment – all of which will create a Win/Win situation for both the homeowner and the community.
Why are there not more Win/Wins? It all starts with an idea, a wish for a better future, and a willingness to give rather than take for oneself. Win/Lose may be primitive capitalism, but Win/Win benefits all.
What do YOU think?