Bringing American culture closer to new immigrants
I really don’t like the word “loser”. It sounds very condescending and judgmental. Whenever I hear someone calling another person a loser, I automatically feel like taking that “loser’s” side. What makes it worse for me is that we often label someone a loser based on the things he/she hasn’t done rather than their actions. Following this logic, aren’t we all losers? Don’t we all have something that we wish we have accomplished?
Winners, on the other hand, take it all. They are glorified and looked up to, as if they have some secret knowledge. We strive to belong to the winners club and fear the club of the less successful.
Now what is that success that everyone is talking about? I’ve always thought that success is a very relative concept. However, what I see in today’s America is a very narrow definition of success and a very categorical judgement of losers. It’s black and white: you either made it or failed; either made your parents proud or disappointed them.
Let’s look deeper into the words that we use. Generally, by winners we mean people who gained something, or the way Merriam- Webster Dictionary defines it:
one that is successful especially through praiseworthy ability and hard work
A loser, meanwhile, is defined as:
a person who is incompetent or unable to succeed
So, all you need to be a winner is an ability and hard work. Call me skeptical, but that’s not how it works in real life. There are so many other factors that influence the outcome, e.g., family income, health, society, economy, etc. Most importantly, we never acknowledge LUCK as a factor. Curiously enough, the Russian word for “loser” is literally “ill-lucker”. Don’t you think many losers would have turned out to be winners, given a little bit of good luck, and vice versa?
Then we put a lot of pressure on ourselves by dismissing luck as a constituent of our success or failure. It’s really hard to live if you believe that everything you have is a direct consequence of your abilities. It’s not. We still have to work hard and be our better selves, but I do believe that we will be a better society, once we stop labeling people losers or worshipping winners. Otherwise all of us will lose.