Losing Matches

A blind man in the Spectators Box at a cricket game may strike you as odd or consolation to courtesy. That he brings critical insights for which he bears a handicap may not ever cross your mind, have become faithful to the mistaken view that we see with our eyes.

“We done know already that he is blind and cannot see,” reveals more about us than the blind man. Rather than illuminate our way forward with his thoughtful and focused analysis we are left to be poorer for his exclusion and be contented with passionate but flaccid conclusions in which we secure excuses for the match we almost won.

“If it wasn’t for this or that we would have won the match,” we say. If however, we had asked the blind man who is no less invested in the team doing well than anyone else, we would have discovered that he knew from the first boundary clobbered from the first ball bowled, that we had exhibited a worrying pattern in our batting.

Of course, there is almost everything in how he saw it to disagree with. And so, he is either right or wrong. Moreover, how does even concede to a blind man that one ball bowled and successfully dispatched to the boundary is a worrying pattern?

Hindsight for some folks is twenty-twenty. The advice of a poor man is valuable. It is his best advice. It has the wealth of his experience but not the benefit of his success. He generously shares his disappointment and the fervent intentions he still holds dear. Not that you have a rich man on tap to give you good monetary advice or that if a rich man told you what to do. You would be knowledgeable and comfortable doing exactly as he directed.

So here we are at this cricket match with our best batsmen at the wicket, three boundaries from three balls and the blind man in the Spectators Box is grumbling that we are going about things the wrong way. A Bamboo mentality.

Is he wrong?

He is very right.

Victory, the way we have come to understand it, is to dominate our opponents. Consequently, as long as that train of thought dominates, we are winning. Another way to understand success, however, is to see it as an expression of the discipline we bring to get the best out of ourselves and has relatively little to do with dominating an opponent or being beaten by an opponent. 

It is almost certainly a case that where we are not sufficiently faithful to the unyielding demands of discipline or obligations that we lose the match, and when we resort to hitting sixes and fours to dominate another to showcase our talents and brilliance, we are not being about learning and honing our crafts.

Yes. We will win a few matches. We will lose even more, and before long losing will become more of whom we are and further erode our confidence in ourselves.

The blind man has the benefit of not being distracted by the frills and is supremely focused on the precision and timing of the batsman as he plays the ball all along the ground or is the beneficiary of soon-to-be-corrected field placings.

Winning or losing are not matters of chance. They are workable conclusions of our preparation and applications of our beliefs.

We can detain ourselves with the unjust or peculiar conduct of others and continue to lose matches or recognize that the way to see ourselves and improve is not through the eyes of condescension that excuses the blind at regalia for the sighted but to take to heart the advice of a man who sees because of how he thinks.

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Peter Peterkin, Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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