Many people don’t want you to worry about the losers. Losers are very important when we realize that almost everything in life people are trying to make into a competition.
If we look at pure numbers the highest percentage of “winners” there can ever be is 50% right? You have two people compete, one person wins, one person loses, unless there is allowed to be a tie or a draw, but even in sports, ties and draws are rare. Especially when we deal with athleticism, just the idea of a tie or a draw is typically unwelcome to the athletes from my experience. I guess maybe you could say there is a small chance the percentage might go higher, but that would also be rare. It would have to be a situation where there is let’s say five competitors and a first, second, and third place. I can’t say I have ever seen or heard of that and I would still want to go farther and find out how imbalanced the prizes/awards are, but I digress.
Much more typically winners inhabit a small percentage of the field of competitors. Just for Olympic swimming in 2012 I counted 34 events which have bronze, silver, and gold medals, so that’s 102 “winners”. Now the competitors? I stopped counting after 330. I was able to find that there are 166 countries participating and most have at least two competitors, although some countries like Australia have 47 competing in swimming alone. Even if we were to assume 330 was the final number of competitors and 102 medals we are sure of, just for Olympic swimming alone in 2012 that means there are 228 “losers” or a percentage of about 59% of losers. That’s assuming one person could only win one medal throughout all 34 events, but we know that isn’t the case so that percentage of “losers” will fall underneath the aforementioned 59%.
So why do we give so much attention, so much reward, and so much acclaim to a minority? Why do we elevate these people? It’s not because they have done what no one else can do. There achievements have been done already, or will be repeated at the very least. I can give you that it may not be average, but if no one had to work a mundane job and was able to pay their bills and take care of family etc while doing what they love day in and day out, those accomplishments would be even more lackluster. But most of us have to work and cannot devote our lives to a senseless sport.
Not to mention we also have to take into account exactly what it is we are rewarding people for. Let us look at the Olympics again, all strictly athletic, there are no cerebral challenges here. What is the drive for athleticism? Why is it that we place so much emphasis on athletes and not thinkers? The biggest thing we have to separate us from animals, regardless of your belief in evolution or creation, is our thought life; our intelligence, our ingenuity. Yet somehow we still like to reward people for athleticism, which animals could beat us in probably any category that has cross/inter-species capabilities.
So now besides for athleticism, what else do we reward? Business?
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