The world of carelessness

Columns | Vienna Review | June 2010

The other day I passed by the park I frequented when I was very young. I was there every day after school; it was the meeting place, the place where all of us flew into the world of carelessness. On this day, I stopped to watch the children on the playground. Sitting off to the side, one hand placed on his forehead, was a dark-skinned boy with a disappointed look on his face. His eyes showed signs of accepted defeat as he stared off into space…he had just lost an important football game. The expression on his face was not one of embarrassment or fear, simply of confirmation. He was defeated and was not ashamed of that fact.

This sight reminded me of my own reaction to the lost volleyball matches of my high school years. Immediately after the failed game, I would move aside and soberly contemplate the personal failure in solitude. While others would hang out and socialize during the bus ride home, reassuring each other of the triviality of the loss, I kept quiet in the back seat, analyzing what exactly went wrong. I knew that doing this was the best way to prepare for the upcoming games in order to prevent the same mistakes. At that age, I’ve realized, there is purity in disappointment; no bitterness, just genuine dissatisfaction without humiliation.

 –Bojana Simeunovic

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