During my freshman year in football, Coach Brose decided to start a leadership class before school. That class taught me many important life lessons. The most important lesson that I personally took from it was the lesson on a Pyrrhic victory. The phrase Pyrrhic victory is named after Greek King Pyrrhus ofEpirus, whose army suffered irreplaceable casualties in defeating the Romans at Heraclea in 280 BC andAsculumin 279 BC during the Pyrrhic War. He won the battle, but in turn lost the war. This phrase can be taken to mean many different things; I take it two different ways. One is that I always need to see the big picture and be prepared for the future and not just go at what is right in front of me. That is a key life lesson I learned in high school that still holds very true, but it is not the most important lesson I learned in high school.
The most important lesson I learned was the other meaning I take from the phrase: “pick your battles and cut your losses” when it comes to arguments. Coming into high school, I was willing to argue anything with anyone, and I would not give in to anything. I was determined to be right at any cost. I shortly realized that, with the exception of certain topics on which I stand firm, most of those arguments are not life and death scenarios, and by battling like I did, I would lose more than I would gain. By fighting tooth and nail and not be willing to compromise on everyday arguments, I would lose my peers’ respect and not be able to accomplish anything major. It would be a Pyrrhic victory because I might win the argument, but in doing so, I’d have lost more than you I gained.
What I have found works best is to first listen to the other side of the argument and then put myself in the others’ shoes and try to see the situation from their perspective. Once I have done that, the other person is almost always willing to listen to my side, and this gives me the insight into making a mature and logical compromise that works best for both of us, where each person gives up as little as possible.