Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The American Culture of winning

While playing intramural soccer in college, I noticed a big difference in the cultures of Americans and foreigners. I played on a team filled with Germans, Dutch and me..the Asian. There was another team with foreign students, the spanish team, filled with students from Spain. the rest of the dozen teams were American. Soccer is and has been big in Europe and Asia for hundreds of years. Whenever we played an American team and they made a mistake, or things didn't go as planned, they would yell, kick the barriers an throw tantrums. Their minds were set on winning, and losing was not an option. Whenever we lost, we didn't take it too seriously. Their anger and tantrums would further get the best of them, and they would slip further away from winning. I have also noticed this while playing other games, including video games! In Asian culture, the only competition I have noticed is in education, where students do whatever they can to get higher scores than their peers. I find it interesting how people here tend to put a lot of importance on winning in sports, while still hold on to the senseless 'no child left behind' policy. Something has got to change. We should be spending more on our schools, while teaching our kids about the importance of school and success. Winning is pointless if there is no possibility of a tangible and/or significant gain from it. My line of thought is probably why I fared amongst the last students in my class in high school, and shot ahead and graduated college with a 3.5 GPA due to scholarships being motivation. This is also probably why I dropped out of soccer, seeing no real future in it for me.
The possibility of success and risks didn't balance itself well.