They got a name for the winners in the world
I want a name when I lose
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide
Call me Deacon Blues
- Steely Dan. "Deacon Blues." Aja
Winning feels great. It is great. Who doesn't like winning? Losing sucks. It's embarrassing, it's painful, it hurts.
But I am a loser. I don't think I'm a hater, by the way, who are lumped together with us losers in Donald Trump's twitter feed. At first his criticism of me, the loser, was bothersome. But then I thought, I've never been criticized by the President before. That's something!
Yeah, my side lost in the election. But I'll be honest, I was not as strongly in the Clinton camp as many of my liberal friends. I don't need to repeat the litany of reasons why, all of which have been pundit-ed a thousand times over. I've not written about the election much, aside from the occasional short quip on FaceBook. My feelings are conflicted. I think Trump, as a man, is weak. A lousy role model for my sons who is effectively a composite caricature of every awful privileged white male stereotype. Pisses me off. How can we white men show up credibly as the smart, hard-working, passionate, caring humans we are when we keep pushing forward these guys? C'mon white men! Is this guy really the best we've got to offer?
But this isn't supposed to be about politics. It's about losing. Which happens in politics. And in life. We lose in competitive endeavors and we suffer emotional loss. And if we are paying attention losing can help us.
Tibetan Buddhism gives us the concept of bardo. Bardo is the in-between state between two lives. After someone dies and before they are reborn their soul exists in the bardo state, one of transition, and also, one of great opportunity. The living pray for their loved one, participate in any number of prayers and rituals to both help the departed's soul transition through and to learn. The end goal being to move the soul closer to enlightenment and to break free of the endless cycle of suffering of human births and deaths.
From the Tibetan Book of the Living and Dying,
Rinpoche, Sogyal (2009-10-13). The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: The Spiritual Classic & International Bestseller: Revised and Updated Edition (p. 11). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
As I look at the clock, we are just under three hours away from a new president. Some of us are in raptured joy. Others in grievous mourning. And the rest of us scattered somewhere in between. It does feel clear that we are moving from one reality into another. It's scary. It's also our greatest opportunity for learning. Especially for us losers.
Call me Deacon Blues.
Call me Deacon Blues.