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Berdine's Corner

Using Life's Lessons
Of Losses To Determine A
Winner Inside Us

by Kenney Dennard

berdine dennard
Berdine Dillard Dennard

Life Lessons from a Matriarch

We are all winners deep inside. Some of us just need more motivation and inspiration to push it out of us. One of the most difficult tasks in life is learning to turn a loss into a win.

My dad once had a long talk with me after I had reacted terribly after a bad break-up. He was upset with me and told me that the worst thing about me and my situation was I didn't know how to lose. It took me a while to fully comprehend that. He said handling a win is easy. But what determines the type of person you are in the end is how you handle a loss. The way I handled the break-up had proved that I was a sore loser.

I've been hard at work recently trying to bring my credit score up. As I do it I think back to my mom, Berdine Dennard. Before she died she had a near perfect 800 score.

But it hadn't always been that way. I remember once seeing her cut up credit cards because of course if you've got credit that good every major creditor is trying to give you credit. I asked her why she was cutting them up. She responded, somewhat angrily, "When I really needed a credit card or money years ago these same companies wouldn't give me anything. So now I don't want anything they are trying to give me. I'm fine with what I have."

She would tell me at another point of having her car repossessed when she was in her 20's. She said it was the most embarrassing thing in the world to her. They came and got her car from her job. She said that when a co-worker came back to tell her that her car was being towed and she'd better go get her things out the car she refused. She said it was way too embarrassing to walk out in front of everyone and get her stuff out as they were taking her car away. She felt like a loser.

All of those things motivated my mother to handle her business. Years later she could actually look back at it and smile. That was then but now every major credit card company were sending her credit cards. About 5 years before my moms death she always had extra money. She was like the bank. If anyone in the family needed money they would come to her. She had pouches in different drawers. One drawer might have $3 - 4,000.00 in it. Another might have $800. Between her savings and mutual funds she once told me she had near $70,000. I can remember her once telling me that her life long dream had been to one day have $100,000. She said she realized that was far from rich but it would be rich to her. She would die before reaching her goal. But in my eyes she had already won that game. She died a winner to me.

There are many lessons to be learned from losses. A lot of us like to point the finger and others or things for being the reason behind us losing or not reaching a goal. You could play the blame game the rest of your life. That makes me think of George Forman. After Mohammed Ali beat him in the Rumble in the Jungle although the odds were in his favor he said he pointed the finger at everyone but himself for years. He blamed the ropes for not being tight enough. Ali had used the "Rope a Dope" style of fighting to beat him. He blamed the referees for counting to fast when he was down. He would come back and box a few year but later change his focus. He realized he didn’t have to be a heavyweight champion to be a winner. Today Forman is a multi-millionair and richer than most of the boxers of his era because of The George Forman Grill. He didn't wallow in his pain. He found a new focus. In the end, he won.

Life knocks us off our feet many times. We have to get up and re-focus. Use the losses to motivate us to make a win. It makes winning much sweeter. My mother was a winner. I've made mistakes where it may have seemed like I lost but I didn't. I learned. You should never lose. You win or your learn. So now I'm figuring things out. My game of life isn't over. I'm a winner inside. Are you?


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