The Loss of Winning

By Anthony Gold

I was in a class of about 400 students in my high school. It was a four-year school, with each grade comprising about the same number for a total population of approximately 1600 kids.

And one thing became apparent to me shortly after matriculating in this school. If you wanted to get accepted into a top university, you needed to graduate at or near the top of your class.

The school regularly published the rankings of each student, the top person being 1 … all the way down to student number 400 or so. Apparently the school thought displaying the numbers would increase our motivation to excel. It certainly did for me … but at a cost.

It became apparent that for me to exceed, someone else had to fail.

Once in university, tests were graded on a curve. The top 10% received an A with varying distributions down to F.

Once in the professional workforce, the top employees were given better raises and promotions, while the bottom were given none or let go.

In nearly all aspects of society, winning comes at the cost of losing. For a team to win, another team must lose. To win an argument, someone must lose. To have your resume chosen for an interview, someone else is passed over.

It’s like one gargantuan competitive game – to get ahead, someone else must lose.

Even religions spread this senseless philosophy. To be “saved” requires someone else to suffer and pay the price. To have a chosen race, all the others must be inferior. The concept of heaven and hell, according to many religions, implies winners and losers.

Thus, in our everyday lives, we operate under the misguided, judgmental mindset that advances come at the expense of someone else’s retreats.

The whole belief that someone loses but reflects the underlying tenet God must be insane. For in this world it seems that one must gain because another lost. If this were true, then God is mad indeed! (T-25.VII.11)

Yet this is what we believe. For me to get the _____ (fill in the blank with whatever is appropriate: job, raise, person, booking slot, …) someone else must miss out.

And it isn’t until we come to the realization that there must be another way that we open ourselves to changing the mindset that led to such an insane thought system.

Salvation is rebirth of the idea no one can lose for anyone to gain. And everyone must gain, if anyone would be a gainer. (T-25.VII.12)

In A Course in Miracles, the concept of salvation is choosing against the ego thought system of fear, lack, judgment, guilt, and attack. It is the recognition of the shared purpose that unites all of us and the spirit of infinite oneness that connects everyone. From such a vantage point, there is no loss.

Join us in Monday’s class where we will explore these concepts of winning and losing, and how to practice the Course’s lessons of seeing through the eyes of oneness. I look forward to seeing you then.

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