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What Is Wrong With Second Place?

I love quotes. It’s hard for me to ignore the ones with deep meaning, the ones that inspire me to be a better person.

Many times, I memorize the ones that mean a lot to me, or store them in places where I’d get to read them often. However, I couldn’t help but have mixed feelings about this one.

“You never win the silver, you only lose the gold.”

A few days ago, a friend of mine called me. She was very excited and wanted me to congratulate her daughter who had just graduated from Secondary School. She took the second position in her graduating class and her family showered her with lots of praises and gifts.

Of course, the young girl’s achievement is every bit worth celebrating and I told her so.

It’s important that you put your best into everything you do, so that when the result comes, whatever it is, you’d be proud of your achievements. This quote however, takes the focus away from that, and makes second place seem like a loss of the first place.

It could be a sporting competition, an examination, a prize, a job… whatever it is. Sometimes, you might not get first position, but please don’t think any less of yourself for not getting that.

A month back, I wrote this piece on Why It’s Necessary To Fail Sometimes and I still believe in this point mentioned: Some of your largest failures in life will become your greatest assets. Some day you will realize that if you had never failed, then you would have never succeeded.

I just want us to have this mindset that we are not ‘losers’. It’s very important that we do not see ourselves that way but take every experience as a learning curve. It’s graduation season and lots of students are graduating from schools with different grades. If your child did not get the kind of grade you wished for, please encourage him or her and don’t make them feel like they ‘lost’ the first place to someone else.

Put your very best into everything you do and if the results don’t come out like you expected, try harder next time. Life always gives us many opportunities to improve on ourselves, to learn from our mistakes, to become a better people.

Is there anyone who agrees or disagrees with me? What is really wrong with second place? I’d love to read your comments.

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Ufy
    July 19, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    I totally agree with you dear Stephanie.

  • Reply
    Precious
    July 21, 2015 at 6:34 am

    Yes I agree with you. Parents shouldn’t end at telling us how bad we have performed and how disappointed they are in us. Some words of encouragement would show that there’s room for improvement. We need to know that someone believes in us so that we wouldn’t give up on ourselves. When I was in junior secondary, I would wish I was living alone so that if I’ve got a bad grade I would peacefully decide on how to put things into place rather than having some bad session with my family.

  • Reply
    Fowokemi
    July 21, 2015 at 10:08 am

    I love this. In world, we still get some complimentary gifts for the runners up.but in God’s calendar, he wants 100% faithfulness to get to heaven at last.so I guess, this is when the quote is absolutely correct…you either get the golden heaven or hell.May mercy speaks for us always.

  • Reply
    Racheal Laye Edward
    July 26, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    There’s nothing Wrong with 2nd place.
    In fact, some of life’s best lessons were learnt in 2nd place. However, we should give our very best in all we do like U said. If U can go 4 1st while settle for less? Take d shot!

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