To the boxing world, Filipino Manny Pacquiao is nicknamed Pacman. He is one of the world’s greatest boxers. To my country, he is hailed as a modern hero – a brown-skinned citizen of the world who worked hard and sacrificed much in order to fulfill his dreams and give his family a better life. His life story is better described here. I am not much of a boxing fan but like the rest of the country and parts of the world, I am awed by how a simple street vendor has conquered his dreams. What’s more, I admire his modesty even after all that he has achieved.
Last Sunday, he was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez, an equally great fighter. The boxing world was stunned. Suddenly, everyone became an expert in analyzing his knockout defeat in a long, long time. Each one has so much to say. But at the end of the day, everyone had picked up some lessons to learn.
My son Prince says,
Don’t give up. Get up. I sure hope my son means this. Every time we go to his soccer game, I am hopeful that he finishes every game, even if they are losing. He has the tendency to be deflated in spirits every time their opponents hit a goal or every time he goes down. Aside from ensuring that he is physically okay, my heart would whimper, “Get up. Go and get up.”
Say congratulations to the one who beat you. I was pleasantly surprised when he said this! It’s so basic but it really is something adults must relearn to do at some point of our lives.
My little princess says,
He’s into so many things, maybe he lost his focus. Might be true. Manny Pacquiao is now a congressman, a TV host, a father, a son, a husband, a businessman, a philanthropist, a celebrity simultaneous with being a boxer. Then again, he knows himself better. Applying this to our own lives, sometimes we can’t juggle more than three balls.
And here are things that I once again learned…or relearned.
A true friend is there for you, in glory and defeat. It’s easy to spot shortcomings and mistakes in times of failure but to be just there for someone, when times are hard…it takes sincerity and genuine care. I came across this line somewhere in the web and I think it is the most appropriate statement for the Pacman’s loss — “He raised our flag many times. This time, let’s raise him.”
One defeat does not warrant the end. Some “experts” say the boxer must now retire, while some say he must get up and go for the next fight. He said, “I got careless…I did my best, but that’s boxing, that is sports…If we will be given the chance to fight again, we will fight…” Of course, as a mom and wife, I’d rather have him sit around on his millions, watch the kids grow up and grow old the “normal” way. But hey, great boxers with brave hearts aren’t just that way.
I knew of these lessons all along but the great boxer’s defeat showed me that there is glory in defeat. The whole thing, as boxing fans wept in sadness while others hailed a new champion in the ring simple makes us mutter, “That’s life — and the lessons are ours for the taking.”