Listen and learn, and don’t be a sore loser

Published 8:00 am Thursday, January 27, 2022

You’ve likely heard the following joke, or a version of it.

A man is complaining to another about how his wife is always angry at him.

“Well, does she say why she’s angry?” the second man asks.

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“She says I never listen to her, or something like that,” he replies.

My wife and I like to watch shows where there’s some kind of competition involved. My favorite right now is “Forged in Fire” — a bladesmithing show on The History Channel. Her favorite is “Chopped,” on The Food Network.

We both enjoy a new show that has a limited run — “Guy’s Chance of a Lifetime.” About a half-dozen people are competing to win the opportunity to open a Chicken Guy restaurant franchise, created and owned by celebrity chef Guy Fieri.

The contestants advance through a series of competitions. The most recent episode we watched had two contestants who thought they did very well in a particular challenge with multiple parts.

Fieri and the other judges told the duo their printed menu was a “10” — but their disorganized approach to managing the kitchen was a “2.”

Both the man and woman exited the judging portion furious.

“I have never been called a ‘2’ in my life! I am not a ‘2’”!” the woman said.

She said Fieri had been her idol but she didn’t know if she could look up to him anymore since he had made that comment.

The man also said, “I have never been called a ‘2’!” Then he talked about the multiple restaurants he had started and grown to successful businesses in Texas.

I think they had a right to be upset. But they should have been upset with themselves.

And they committed the same error as the man in the opening joke — they didn’t listen.

Guy did not call either of them a “2” — he said their efforts in the kitchen during that challenge were a 2/10.

He gave them a score.

Their egos and lack of ability to listen to what was being said prevented them from being able to take anything constructive away from that evaluation.

Let’s suppose a basketball team scored 20 points against a team that netted 100. In the locker room, the coach tells the players their efforts in the game did not match up to previous performances or what he expected from them.

In essence, what the team gave him was a 2/10.

If individual players took that to mean he was calling them each a “2” in life, they were grossly mistaken.

See the comparison?

Too many times people have already decided what they are going to hear, how they are going to react, what they feel they deserve — and are disappointed.

We don’t always have the best days, the best results in a competition, or the outcome we desire.

Don’t blame someone else, misconstrue constructive criticism or give up.

Learn from your mistakes and move forward. I have to remind myself of this occasionally.

The son of some of our friends just turned 5. In a social media post from his mom, she talked about how proud she was of him, how sweet and caring he was, how he was 100 percent full-speed boy, too.

She also said he was so competitive he still was learning not to be a sore loser.

Well, kid, you’re not the only one.

News Editor Brett Campbell can be reached at 601-265-5307 or