This would be a FACT of, L-I-F-E, kid!!! The conversation between a father and a son, translated…
Summer: The competitions today wasn’t fair?
Me: How was it not?
Summer: They were all sixth graders and we were, fourth graders!
Me: this is, more than, a fair situation!
Summer: How can it be?
Me: You’d played against the group that is older than you, and you’d, lost, that’s normal, and reasonable too, isn’t it?
On this day, the soccer coach at Summer’s school arranged a mix aged competition, the Panthers, a game of eight players, with the fourth graders as competitors of the U10 teams. And, they were, playing against the U12 teams of fifth, sixth graders.
On the way to the soccer fields, I’d discussed with Sumer, that today’s competition will be a practice competition with the older kids in the school, that he should just, put his skills to practice, best as he can. He’d started, nodding his head, seemed that he’d, understood me, completely. Surely, the first game, four to, nothing, they’d, lost. Then, Summer’s team, the Panthers, lost, ALL the way, game after game, got beaten, by his, U12 older schoolmates. Using his own descriptions to describe the events: we got, electrocuted by the older schoolmates!
Losing one game, that’s, acceptable. Two games, it doesn’t feel good. And, by the third game that they were, losing, Summer immediately started, experience, that people can’t live with, losing all the time. After losing the series of games, he’d strongly, expressed his, “minor upset” of the matters, felt, that the game has, NO fairness whatsoever.
Toward his upset, I’d thought, where’s the standards of what constitutes as fair and not? In the competitive world, are there, really, the point of, fairness? Do we need to, get down to the matter, and discuss it thoroughly the matters of: fair or unfair? But, as he was, fuming up, I’d not, struck up this, discussion of the subjects.
Since he was little, in soccer, Summer has the will, and the drives to win. When he’d won, he’d gotten all worked up, and, not hidden his radiant smiles over it, he would also, high-five his teammates, and hug them. When he’d lost, he’d surely, felt displeased, and, there would be, the aftermath of his losing the games that came. As the other young competitors started destressing themselves on the cell phone games, he was still, wiping away his tears, unwilling to admit, that his team had, lost the game. Then, he would contemplate, why didn’t they win this time, and started, evaluating everything, and a few more tears would fall, still refused, to accept that he and his team lost. This emotional response, more than natural, and normal too. And normally, it would take a little while, like after we had lunch, or as he’d, gotten completely into the cell phone games, he would then, get himself out of the upset, and, reentering into the group of his teammates then.
For a short while, due to his emotional management when his team lost, it’d, affected the means of how the team played well together, we’d discussed the matter seriously, that if he’d needed to, drop out of the team, to find a new team to join, but he was, unwilling, to, sever off the rapport he’d already, established with the members of his team, and started, changing his behaviors, and, becoming more in tune with his own, emotional response to losing the games.
I kept on believing, that what Summer was upset over, was not because of winning or losing, but the matter of how the games were judged fairly or unfairly. Winning or losing, was something he could, quickly digest, and accept as is, but back then, he still couldn’t, quite understand, the “difference of opinions on what’s fair and unfair”.
Let’s put it this way, back in the elementary years, he could never accept, why there’s, the existence of, unfairness. For instance, why was so-and-so, so very, tall, it’s unfair. Why does someone from class has a cell phone already, it’s not fair. Why the team members are all leveled differently in their, playing skills, a bit, not fair. The teachers looked out for certain students, a bit, unfair.
All of these, encounters of, unfairness that troubled him, or maybe, it’s, what he needed to, cross over, before the matter of winning and losing. I think, even for me, I’d still needed to, introspect my own mind, and troubles, when encountering something that I feel was, unfair. Fair or not? This was, a question on the road to growing up, always going to be there, and it will, be a discovery journey we’re constantly on in life too, and will, continue to happen in our day-to-day lives.
And because of this, I wanted to tell him, as the younger graders are playing the higher graders, it’s, going up against someone who’s, out of your level of expertise, it’s only natural that you lose, winning, that would be, unfair, to the, older schoolmates. Isn’t that right? If you care about what’s fair or not, you will be more prone to, consider the opposite angles. Because, you don’t need to get too serious about the fairness of things, because fairness, doesn’t really, exist as black or white.
On the road to life, there’s no, standards of fairness, it’s all interpreted individually differently. As I finished telling him, Summer then, fell, silent, then, smiled, like he’d, finally understood, that winning and losing is only, in the results, and fair or unfair, that’s all, a false sort of a debate. Any sort of a debate, there are only, the differences in points of view, it’s nothing on fairness. I’d recalled, that I’d once told Summer, that in the future, if there’s something he wanted, he’d needed to, work hard to get it, and if he didn’t get it, he should, let go, after all, he had, tried, to attain it. In the future, I suppose, that will, be how he would, handle things that come up in his life.
And so, this, is on the father’s teaching the son about, fairness, and, there is, no fairness, only the perspectives, the interpretations of what’s fair and what’s not, like how the soccer tournament was uneven, with this young lad’s team, going against older kids, and it’s expected that they don’t win, after all, the kids on the other team are stronger, older, more agile, trained longer than his age group, and this showed, how there’s only the personal interpretations of what’s fair and what’s not, and that’s based off of socialization, and everybody’s socialized differently, so, there’s no, one size fit all!