If you’re a major nerd like I am, you may remember this line from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The prologue shows Indy’s youthful endeavors in The Boy Scouts. When I was a kid (think 4) I emulated Indiana Jones. I remember trying to go on adventure by walking to New York at that age. I lived in California. I made it a couple miles. I was, however, defeated by the Santa Cruz mountains.
It wasn’t until I was much older I realized the usefulness of this line. Life kicks the crap out of all of us at one time. But this older “archaeologist” told young Indy that just because life won, and Indy lost doesn’t mean Indy should quit. And he didn’t lose respect for Indy for fighting for his position. He respected him more. Indy stood up for what he believed in. Maybe he was wrong, or maybe he didn’t have the ability to win, or circumstances came out wrong, but he fought hard and lost. That’s okay. That’s respectable. The fact that he stood up for what he believed in and took a shot on the jaw for it was respectable in and of itself.
Only poor sports, losers, and the unconfident disrespect people who put up a good fight and lose. When you lose, the only question you have to ask yourself is, “did I stand up for what I believe in, and did I fight hard?” If the answer is yes, congratulations, you deserve respect. If you won, don’t disparage your rival. They fought and lost. It happens to us all.
In life, as men, we are going to come across men who are shooting for the same thing we are, and have just as good a claim to it as we do. Don’t hold back in competing for it, don’t hate them if they win, and don’t gloat if you win. Respect your opponents, you’ll be in their shoes one day. If your opponent is a scumbag, if they cheat, or if they are saboteurs, you can lose respect for them for that. But honest opponents are due their respect.