Winning makes other people happy, so sometimes it is appropriate to lose.

from Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli fiction ~1 min read

A hand reached into the picture and grabbed the mike from Ebersole. Becca Rinaldi’s angry face appeared on Camera Two. “Why do you cheer for the other team?”

Stargirl seemed to be thinking it over. “I guess because I’m a cheerleader.”

“You’re not just a cheerleader, you dumb cluck”-Becca Rinaldi was snarling into the mike-“you’re supposed to be our cheerleader. A Mica cheerleader.”

I glanced at Mr. Robineau. He was turned away from the monitors. He was staring straight at the set through the control room window.

Stargirl was leaning forward, looking earnestly at Becca Rinaldi, her voice small as a little girl’s. “When the other team scores a point and you see how happy it makes all their fans, doesn’t it make you happy, too?”

Becca growled, “No.”

“Doesn’t it make you want to join in?”


“Don’t you ever want the other team to be happy, too?”


Stargirl seemed genuinely surprised. “You don’t always want to be the winner… do you?”

Becca scowled at her, jutted out her jaw. “Yes. Yes, I do. Yes. I always want to be the winner. That’s what I do. I root for us to win. That’s what we all do.” She swept her arm around the set. “We root for Mica.” She jabbed her finger at the stage. “Who do you root for?”

Stargirl hesitated. She smiled, she threw out her arms. “I root for everybody!”

—Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl, p. -1