Excellence in Repetition

From Jo Nesbᴓ’s Midnight Sun:

“Did he? He beat Futabayama?”

“Oh, yes. Toyed with him. He just had to learn a few things first. Such as how to lose.”

Knut sat up. He squinted at me. “Does losing make you better, Ulf?”

I nodded slowly. I saw that Lea was paying attention, too. “You get better”—I squashed a midge that had landed on my arm—“at losing.”

“Better at losing? Is there any point in being good at that?”

“Life is mostly about trying things you can’t do,” I said. “you end up losing more often that you win. Even Futabayama kept on losing before he started to win. And it’s important to be good at something you’re going to do more often, isn’t it?”

“I suppose so.” He thought about it. “But what does being good at losing actually mean?”

I met Lea’s gaze over the boy’s shoulder. “Daring to lose again,” I said.

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