I’ve been thinking a lot this week about good sportsmanship. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been super competitive. I remember in elementary school being so excited to run a relay, that I didn’t pay any attention to our gym teacher’s instruction. When he blew the whistle, I just took off. Realizing I was a good length ahead of my peers, I was so proud of myself…until I realized I had no idea which way we were supposed to run. I ended up taking us around our school a good half-mile longer than we needed to run and my classmates were not too thrilled. I learned that day that you could lose the same race you win. Being a good teammate and a good sport is more important than almost anything else. Even my third-grade self was able to grasp the concept. It’s been baffling me all week how the leader of our country missed this school playground fundamental.
It’s Elementary, my dear President…no one likes a Bully, no one likes a Cry Baby and no one likes a Bad Sport. This past week, watching He Who Shall Not Be Named “take his ball and go home” when it comes to the media has reminded me that it’s important, at any age, to be a good sport. We can’t always get our way. We can’t always win. Life is not always going to be fair and sometimes we will work hard for no reward. It’s called being an adult. Reading about credible news sources being blocked from press conferences and rhetoric of media brain washing is the epitome of a political temper tantrum. As adults, we should be reminded that at any age, sportsmanship plays a role in our daily lives. How we carry ourselves at work and at play matters. Any opportunity we have to “play the game” of life with integrity is an opportunity for growth.
Part of growing up means sometimes doing things you don’t want to do, with people you don’t want to be with, and accepting you control your own actions and not necessarily those of others. Our president’s decision that the media is not relevant because he feels attacked is not only embarrassing, but is putting our democracy at risk. Refusing to attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is not a strategic move of strength. It is bad sportsmanship in neon letters. If you are still in training pants, I think it’s acceptable to throw a tantrum; if you are a world leader, I’m afraid it’s time to grow up. I’m “simply positive” his bad example for our country will serve as exactly that.