Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Empathy for the loser - a lesson from kids' sports

Celebrating after a win is easy and natural. The team crowds together for group hugs, pats one another on the back, all high energy and enthusiasm. The losers each stand alone, individuals feeling their individual defeat.

Typically the opposing teams then line up and walk past each other for the 'good game' hand slap. That's considered good sportsmanship.

But when we're celebrating, it's not easy to put ourself in the shoes of the loser. Showing empathy for the losers and offering them comfort is, well, unusual.

Empathy was clearly on display at the conclusion of this international Youth Soccer tournament. 

The winning team from Barcelona went above and beyond the expected line of polite hand slaps. These kids showed true empathy for the defeated Japanese team through genuine hugs and obviously encouraging words. Even through the language barrier, I bet the Japanese players knew exactly what was being expressed.

We adults have a lot to learn.

No comments:

Post a Comment