Chloe Cater

See below for a link to Chloe’s audio file.


The Playground Showdown

Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” Evidently, in kindergarten, I felt the same way. As a child, I always had an issue with things not going my way. I could sometimes be a brat. So, as I was always up for some competition, I challenged Isabella to a race around the playground. The way things played out, embarrassing at the time, make for a funny story to tell now and a lesson that I needed to learn.

That fateful day on the playground during my first year at Donoho, I was dead set on winning. I always wanted to be the best at everything, even just a little race. We had one of our friends tell us when to go and serve as a marker for the finish line. I ran around the playground as fast as I could, trying to keep up with Isabella. We were neck-in-neck, finishing up the loop. Isabella had consistently stayed a little ahead of me, but I was determined to secure a victory. When we were almost at the “finish line,” I tried my best to get in front of her, but it was not enough. Isabella finished just before I did, beating me in the race. Being the sore loser that I was, I could not just take the defeat and move on, so I did something that I would later come to regret.

Making an impulsive decision, I decided that the best way to deal with Isabella beating me was to push her down. For a brief moment, I felt a sort of satisfaction. This feeling, however, did not last very long. Just after I pushed Isabella down, her brother came to her defense and in return pushed me down. My pride and ego were hurt, and I was so embarrassed. I mean, one of the older kids had just pushed me down. Of course, we all got in trouble, but now it is a funny story to look back on.

This little incident, although mortifying, taught me a very important lesson. While I did not altogether stop being a sore loser or a stubborn little girl, I definitely realized that my actions have consequences. I understood that I could not just push someone down because they beat me at something and get away with it. I learned that things were not always going to go my way and that being mean to others definitely was not going to change that. I started to see how important it was to be kind to others, and that winning was not everything. But mainly, I learned not to mess with Isabella.

This was not the first time I did something bratty, and it definitely was not the last. Even so, this seemingly insignificant story is something that I remember clearly, and one that helps me to remember to be a gracious winner. I believe that is one of the most important lessons to learn and also one of the hardest. It is hard not to get upset about a loss, but the issue is not with getting upset, but with degrading the winner because of a hurt ego. While getting pushed down in front of everyone completely humiliated me at the time, it taught me the importance of being kind to everyone, even if they beat you at something.

While we may have had our differences as young kids, Isabella has come to be one of my best friends. Thankfully, she has chosen to forgive me for my actions as a kindergartener. I could not imagine my high school experience without her, and I am glad that she does not hold my past against me. I am thankful that we can laugh about it now and that it is just another funny memory that we share. I am definitely a more graceful loser now, and I can say with confidence that I will never push Isabella down again.

Please click on the arrow below to hear Chloe’s Senior Reading.