Manny Pacquiao lost today to Timothy Bradley.
The Boston Celtics lost to the Miami Heat today, too.
For some, this might be a glorious day of victory. Others, a day of disappointment or frustration. And there will be others who find today a mix of both.
I watch the NBA whenever I can and I’ve been fully locked on this year’s Playoffs. And as each round passes, I’ve learned that I’ve come to like the Boston Celtics as a team.
But today is not the day they head for the Finals.
Congratulations to the Heat, it was a well-deserved win. They worked hard for it and their fans deserved it. A victory to be admired and cherished.
But the Celtics also deserve credit.
They might have not won the best of 7 series, but they’ve performed solidly throughout and made plays that any fan would be proud of. It’s just not their year. However, they deserve the same applause that champions get, because they EARNED their spot in the Eastern Conference Finals. The next step that they weren’t able to reach will serve as motivation for next season. Doc Rivers has a pretty good team on his hands, and each member knows the worth of his teammates. They deserve appreciation.
Pacquiao, on the other hand, has made every Filipino proud for his successes in the boxing ring as a world-class athlete. He’s a world-class athlete, a belt, title, or championship that no one can take away from him. I don’t follow boxing as I do basketball but I know loss in any field brings upon a heavy heart in anyone.
Someone who has only tasted victory will never seek improvement, for they will believe that their pinnacle has been reached. A little defeat goes a long way. It’s healthy. It gives you a fresh surge of energy to prove yourself and battle your weaknesses with the right attitude and support group. A person who has never experienced failure, rejection, and loss will have a hard time achieving, because no successful person has gotten where s/he is without a metaphorical door slammed in their face.
And so for those who lost, be thankful for the opportunity to become better and the success you’ve achieved.
And for the victorious, do not wish that your champions be forever undefeated nor invincible, for they will never have the thrill of a challenge, the fulfillment of overcoming an obstacle, or the chance to say they’ve improved.
We all need a little defeat once in a while to remind ourselves that we are not perfect. In that way, we can strive to become better than what we already are.
In the words of the Ironborn of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, “What is dead may never die, but rises again harder and stronger.”