There’s nothing wrong with being competitive. Indeed, there’s nothing wrong with being extremely competitive. But if you’ll do anything to win, and you just can’t lose, you’re not playing the game properly. The Russian Olympic Doping Scandal is a case in point. Even more poignant examples are to be found in the world of business. If you’re a business owner, few people are going to fault you for being shrewd and a little ruthless. But if you screw people over on a regular basis, if people can’t trust you, you’ll soon find yourself isolated, alone, and out of business.

As Jordan Peterson rightly observes, winning should never be your primary objective when you’re playing a game. Getting invited to the next game ought to be your primary objective. Winning is secondary. John McCain understood this far better than most. And he lived by it. As Lindsey Graham put it in his moving eulogy to McCain: “John taught us how to lose. When you go throughout the world, people remember his concession speech as much as anything else. There are so many countries where you can’t afford to lose because they’ll kill you.”

The peaceful transfer of power and gentle commerce are cornerstones of civilized life. Taking them for granted is decidedly unwise. Rejecting them outright is downright reckless.

—John Faithful Hamer