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Making a concession speech would be one of the most gut-wrenching things a first-world leader has to do. To stand in front of your country and say “I lost. Good luck to this next guy,” is about putting your overwhelming sense of pride in your pocket and admitting you were wrong. It’s about admitting you lost in front of the millions of people who wanted you to fail.
Watching Mitt Romney’s gracious concession speech had a powerful effect on me.
Romney stands at the podium, with his supporters cheering him on. His smile looks humble, tired and forced. He takes a deep breath in. Then he makes his concession, because it’s over. He lost.
It made me reflect on the times in my own life where I’ve felt utterly devastated, yet I still managed to force a tense smile on my face as my eyes welled up with tears. I can feel the sheer disappointment of losing a battle that once consumed you, but it’s over now and you didn’t get what you fought for.
This is the moment when you’ve worked so hard on something for so long and the stakes are so high. This is when everyone is watching you and waiting for you to fall.
This is when you fall.
You fall hard on your face.
It is incredibly exhausting to act sincere when you can’t control the overwhelming sense of disappointment you feel at this moment.
Yet these are the moments every human being has to go through in order to appreciate the good in their life, and these are the moments that force one to reflect on the positive things that can come from disappointment and defeat.
So, to Willard Mitt “Mittens” Romney, I say kudos. I may not agree with his political views (particularly his views on marriage and overturning Roe vs. Wade), but I can give the man credit for his humble concession.
This is for all the people – and I assume most can relate – who have tried so hard, and been so passionate about something, despite the fact that everyone is waiting for you to fail.
This is for you if you failed.
Because I have, and it led me in a better direction.
Watch Romney’s concession speech here.