We win: jobs, profits, politics and climate

by Bruce Kasanoff on September 9, 2011

(Part 1 of 2) The price of restoring our economy, saving our banks, and ensuring long-term prosperity is higher than most are willing to pay: the end of football, baseball and every other win/lose game.

From the time we are old enough to grasp a ball, we are taught that there are winners and losers. You want to beat the other guy. Ties aren’t good enough. Only winners matter.

This is why the world is so miserable right now. Everywhere you look, you see people who care more about winning than anything else. These are not bad people. As the saying goes, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

I want to win, too. So do you. But this mindset is like a cancer, mostly because the world has become too interconnected to tolerate a win/lose mindset. Most people lose. That’s why things seem so bad.

We need to stop teaching kids to beat the other kids. We need to stop spending our weekends rooting for the other guys to lose. We need to find a way to bring out our best, to challenge ourselves physically and mentally, without doing so at the expense of the other team.

The human race has never before had more robust solutions to the challenges we face. We are better than ever at raising food, finding shelter, staying safe, educating our young, curing disease and understanding the universe. To 99.9% of the people who ever lived, we are like magicians.

And yet, we somehow have convinced ourselves that our future is bleak. We can’t agree on solutions to our “problems,” and these problems terrify us.

This is such nonsense. We have so much promise, so many opportunities, so many blessings.

We have one curse, and that is a dominant mindset that says one side has to lose.

The alternative is a win/win mindset. It won’t come easy. If you doubt me, imagine a World Series that ends in a tie, and everyone is happy. That seems like heresy, but I’m increasingly convinced it is the only path to prosperity. More on this in my next post.

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