When Everybody Wins, Everybody Loses

By Lee Collins •  Updated: 08/28/16 •  4 min read
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

When I was in high school we didn’t have repeated school shootings. It’s a fact. Google it – the years were 1985-1989. And for you anti-gun people who get upset because you don’t find any school shootings reported during this time period to be outraged about, please realize this is not because it’s any kind of spin, much to your displeasure – it’s because it did not happen.

And – GASP – my high school even had a rifle team. The horror.

Today’s kids can’t even have a Hello Kitty bubble maker in school without being suspended for “making terrorist threats”. Heaven forbid their pop-tart possibly look like a gun in any way.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s take a step back.


I’m sure there are many reasons for the lack of school shootings “back in the old days”. And no it wasn’t because all we had were single-shot muskets back then. The modern semi-automatic mechanism (with variations) has been around in commercial retail since 1894. If you’re keeping up with the math that was 119 years ago – just over 50% of our young country’s history.

But here’s an interesting observation: when I was in high school if one boy had a problem with another boy (or girl, but mostly boys), the principal would walk across the street with the boys, off school grounds, and allow the kids to “settle their differences”.


No weapons, just toe to toe.

And before you get freaked out by that, let me tell you what happened…

Right after the fight, 10 times out of 10, and sometimes before the fight, the boys decided it wasn’t that big of a deal and acted like the best of friends. Or they were at least polite to each other and went their separate ways without incident.

Yes, I had my fair share of walking across the street. No, my parents were never called. Sometimes I felt like I won. Sometimes I felt like I lost. That’s how life works.


Now, you may jump to the conclusion that I advocate fighting. That’s not necessarily true. What I do advocate is a systematic resolution of conflict. I’ll explain more about this in a moment.

(In hindsight, I could go into a deep discussion about how fighting is never the answer and how we both lost, regardless of the outcome. But hey, we were teenage boys and it worked at the time, so we’ll save this for a future story about carjacking.)

In today’s schools I believe there is no real system in place to allow for the resolution of conflict. Heck, in today’s schools if you prevent another student from getting shot you are STILL suspended from school for “being involved in a gun-related incident”. This is utterly ridiculous and is a symptom of the sickness of our now-pussified country.

Today’s children are not being prepared for a world where they can do anything more that suckle the government’s tete. Period.

Our education system is one of the lowest rated in the modern world, but to make ourselves feel better we lower the standards “so the students don’t feel bad about themselves”. Oddly, when other country’s scores start to slip they make their students work harder against the current standards.


I remember even further back, when I was a child, and if my mom and dad needed more money they worked harder to get it. Sometimes they took on a second or third job. They didn’t sit around and moan and gripe, they got busy and got it done.

And that’s what I believe we need to do right now in the United States. We need to take personal responsibility for the right, wrong, good, or bad in our lives and GET IT DONE.

Everyone cannot win. But that doesn’t make you a loser. It means you lost that time. Next time if you work harder and you really want it you might win. Maybe not. But it’s up to YOU to decide to WORK for it. And when you achieve your goal, it will have been worth the journey even if you lost 1,000 times before you get there.

But if you always win, where is the incentive to do better? There is none.

Entire societies will stagnate on the status quo.

Countries who rest in their laurels get conquered.

So do people.

If everybody wins, everybody loses.

Lee Collins

Lee Collins is a former Air Force Network Systems Engineer and Fortune 500 Corporate VP - who is best known as an early pioneer of Direct Response Marketing on the Internet. He has over 24+ years experience running operations for multiple multi-million dollar marketing, software, SEO, financial, and business coaching companies. When Lee isn't helping his private clients solve big (and small) marketing and operations problems, Lee is most likely heading up into the mountains in his fully-equipped Jeep Gladiator. Or just gone fishing.