Winners never quit; quitters never win

My son is hypercompetitive, to the point where he'll sometimes bow out of an activity, rather than run the risk of failing. In the same vein, if an activity is not going well, he'll often do what all children do: quit. To combat this tendency, I recite a little epigram for him that is good for keeping him on track. Whenever he comes up to me saying that he won't participate in an activity because he's not going to win, I say, "Winners never quit, and quitters never win." Only yesterday, he refused to participate in an activity. I said that was fine but reminded him that, if he didn't participate, there was no way he was going to win. He reconsidered, joined enthusiastically — and won. (A sterling example of refusing to give up is, of course, "The Play.)

I'm actually waffling on about this little bit of homespun philosophy for a reason. In a column today, Clifford D. May notes what most of those on the Right seem already to have realized: that Islam has declared a war on us. If it wasn't clear in 1979, it should have been extremely clear in 2001. Many remain unconvinced, so May marshalls evidence from all over about the continued battles Islam wages in this clearly declared war. The last two paragraphs struck me particularly, because they are a reminder of what my son is slowly learning, namely, that if you fear losing too much to engage in the "game," you will essentially lose by default, and prevent any chance of winning:

Let's not delude ourselves about what is going on: In the Middle East, Europe, America and elsewhere, a campaign of violence and intimidation is being waged. We have not yet begun to fight back. Instead, we've dressed up our fears as sensitivity, attempted to appease those who threaten and kill, while allowing ourselves to be cowed into self-censorship. Surely, we know where this road leads.

In the last century, Nazis and Communists attempted to extinguish freedom. We fought back. Now, there are new bullies on the block. There is no guarantee that if we fight again we will win again. But if we don't fight, defeat is inevitable. [Emphasis mine.]

Be Sociable, Share!


  1. says

    I enjoyed reading this post. Have you informed your son of the record setting run by the little Indian boy, Budlia? Probably would be an inspiration to him.



  2. says

    It’s about courage of course. The old cliche that courage is not the absence of fear, but the overcoming of rank terror itself. You are afraid of losing, being scorned, being made fun, appearing inferior, a loser. But the only way to be a real loser is to give into that fear, let it control you, and let it dictate what you will or will not do, instead of the other way around.

    The Left notoriously does not believe that when there is a will there is a way. The left and their fake liberal allies in the military, DoD, and State (Spank is one such example of a person who doesn’t believe in willpower, because it is not complex enough, and he talks a lot on neo neo’s blog) believe that there are inherent “limitations” that you cannot get past. Therefore you should not try to get past it, because nothing will result but a “cycle of violence”. Familiar perhaps.

    Whether it is class limitations, ethnic limitations, intellectual limitations, all these things the Left believes in as limitations. And they have plenty of facts and research to back them up, given their focused concentration on this rather focused issue.

    I’ve heard Australians tell me that I’m “trying too hard” because I seek to argue on the internet, use big words, or write long posts. The Australian was refering to his own school system, in which there are kids who he thought was not smart, but acted like they were, and tried so hard to be known as smart because it was important for those stupid kids not to be thought of as dumb.

    What kind of mentality ascribes motives of vice and degradation and cowardice to hard work, and surpassing the genetic and natural limits of all human individuals? What kind of mentality would prefer the natural limitations and safety of the human CONDITION to “trying hard”?

    Would it be better for the people on Flight 93 to sit in their seats and not “try hard” at being heros, because they are civilians, not warriors, and therefore they were not “designed” to take back a plane from hijackers?

    What kind of a person would you have to be to scorn success because you think people are fakes for trying to become better than what they are.

    Feudalism and parochialism has not died out from the human sphere, regardless of the fake liberals who believe in the Aristocratic Elite’s right to abuse those inferior to them, would have you believe.

  3. isirota1965 says

    I circulated this to my small e-mail political discussion group. We are a disparae collection, consisting of libertarians, liberals, conservatives, and a couple of Canadians. The sad consensus among us was that the war has already been lost, and that we as a society are proceeding as if September 11th never happened.

    Here was part of my comment on the “War on Terror” and how it is being fought (the rest dealt with another issue). I was a little angry when I wrote it: The way I see it, the war needed to be fought here. We needed to drastically change our mentality and understand that we were at war, and let’s face facts, Americans–including people such as me who may as well be American–have NEVER been asked to sacrifice anything to fight this war. In fact, what did the President get out and say right after 9/11 (he may even have said this that day)? “Go out and keep shopping”. Yup, let’s ignore the enemy who wants to slaughter us by the thousands while we buy our SUV’s, iPod’s and Blackberrys. Meanwhile, the President declares a mythical “War on Terror”, which refuses to either acknowledge who the enemy truly is or what it will take to fight them. Pardon my French, but bulls–t. Instead, we have a political elite from BOTH parties which falls all over itself to suck up to those who want to kill us. They play political games today while tomorrow we–not they, unfortunately–die. We also have a news media that won’t report on the true threat to our society, because that would interfere with its politically correct agenda (hey, it’s been nearly a week since there were any new Abu Ghraib photos–somebody better alert the New York Times!), not to mention the non-stop coverage ONE YEAR LATER of the f—ing Natalee Holloway story (as artificial a news story as has ever been foisted on the brain-dead rubes who obviously inhabit this country).

    Millions of us are going to die, including maybe my wife and children, and as a society, we have brought it on ourselves.

  4. says

    President Bush does what most parents do. He tries to protect the children, us, from harm. But what happens is that the child gets spoiled, faces no danger, has no rresponsibility to protect himself, always relies upon her/his father, and basically when the father is GONE, what is the child then going to do?

    It’s two parenting strategies. Do you do as Bush and take all the dangers upon yourself and the military, and fight the enemy outside of home, and protect the American people that are your children and charge? Or do you do as other parents and use “Tough Love”. Martial disciplines, like martial arts, calisthenics exercise, mandatory work periods, corporal punishment.

    Teach a child how to defend herself, how to kill the enemy, show the child the gruesome images of the enemy they will face.

    Because naturally, if you are defending the child, it is almost like an instinct not to introduce children to horrors. This was highlighted by the military commanders, like Petraeus, in charge of rebuilding Iraq’s security fforces. They said that learning how to wage war during a war, is the most wasteful exercise in military affairs. What would they then prefer exactly? They would prefer we learned war through peacetime, through exercises and situational reports, paper work and corruption. Which is more of a waste? Hard to tell.

    Obviously it is better, in an ideal world, to have a well trained military so that when they go into war, it is like desert storm, it’s all over but the reloading in a few days. Obviously it is better to take Baghdad early and end the war early.

    However, that kind of optimistic scheduling is only good temporarily. It is only good in the Short Term. Just as it is only good for Bush to protect the children from all manners of evil in the SHORT TERM. What happens when Bush goes away? What happens when the children have to protect themselves? Who is going to teach them then? Nobody. Time has been wasted.

    The American people are of course not children, and neither are we the Iraqi forces dieing and killing to protect our nation.

    This is the dichotomy between the military and the civilians, between military virtues and civilian virtues, between war time and peace time, between aggression and diplomacy, between hot and cold, light and heavy, Darkness and Light.

    To exist in nothing but Darkness. To exist in nothing but the Light. Both have serious disadvantages.

    Book’s immunology parenting technique, is a good example. Do you focus on short term protection strategies? or do you focus on long term? And what is the difference anyway between a person who prepares for the long term and the person who prepares for the short term?

Leave a Reply