Winning “From” VS Winning “Over”

win over

By Umer Raza

If you remember a famous cricket world cup, yes that is of 1992 in Australia, where Pakistan was victorious. South African team participated for the first time after their ban was lifted from the international cricket. They played very well throughout the tournament and made it to the semi finals. In the semi final they again played superbly but lost the game….. because of rain. Each of their player through out the tournament played their heart out and showed their skills in bowling, batting and fielding. However, at the end they could not win the semi final from England but they won over a lots of fans and hearts.


I was compelled to look at this difference of from and over after a little discussion yesterday. A friend yesterday told me that “i could not win from him” (he was referring to someone we both knew and he was quite at unease of accepting his defeat and this he attributed to the cleverness of the other person). He is a successful man and always have something new in his kitty to be successful, he also says that he does not start a thing not to win it. A good approach to have a successful life. However, when i heard the comments of Win from i could not but think of how difference in one word can change the whole idea. He was trying to win from the other person and not winning over the other person. Since i know the other person as well… i can see that he has certainly not won over the other person……he is trying to win from the other person. Winning from gives a feel of a battle, a war and a match, but winning over gives a feel of association and love.

US with NATO forces and other allies have been in Afghanistan for now over a decade. They are facing challenges ever since to fight against the afghans. Their fight has hardly taken a positive outlook for them. They have seen hundreds of their army men dead, billions of dollors are spent, buildings destroyed and international relations and conspiracies shook and shattered.  In this case they have neither won from any one nor won over anyone. Other than the political rhetoric, giving birth to conspiracies and fulfilling the Zionist plans of taking over resources nothing else was done.

I once was in Afghanistan way back in 2005 for a month. Kabul was not very well settled by then and had lots of foreign forces patrolling around. I used to get out and have walks in the streets of Kabul, though i was cautioned by security to remain vigilant. During my walks i never talked to anyone and nor revealed my identity being a Pakistani. I was told that Pakistanis are not liked by Afghans and if there is any hardliner he may not even tolerate you. While on my way back at the Kabul Airport, at security check, one of the security officers after looking at my passport gave me a disdained look and asked you are Pakistani, his colleague quickly checked my stuff and asked me to move ahead. I learned that his colleague did not want to create a scene here and wanted me to move away. I could realize that Pakistani’s could not win over afghans. Though it has many political, geographical, economical, social and emotional reasons….but my point is not do debate those reasons, i am just pointing out the word WIN OVER.

Lets come towards a very domestic example. I once had an uncle and an ant (husband and wife), both are dead now may Allah grant them Jannah. You can relate this story to a common Pakistani society story of  how a husband and wife spend their life in a usual household in a middle and lower middle class family. My uncle was a typical husband and ant was a typical wife. By typical i mean a husband who is always angry, sometimes abusive, most of the times listening to others but not wife and wants that wife should be at his beck and call always.  The wife was typical as she always listened and always helped and always put her head down, only coming back to her mother or sisters to lightly complain. The time passed and we saw that Uncle always tried to win from his wife and wife always tried to win over her husband. Gradually the tables turned and by the time he got retired from his service he became so mild that we saw him always laughing and speaking well with his wife. Both of them laughed a lot in the last days. He always tried to win from his wife and his wife always tried to win over. At the end the win over was quite evident, sustainable, peaceful but took time to come over…..the win from was daily but short lived.

Stephen Covey with his famous win/win process has made a remarkable contribution in the world of human relations and management. He gave name to an attitude that was present in our elders for ages. If we apply his win/win process for the purpose of this article it seems as though that “Win from” is WIN/lose but “Win over” is WIN/WIN. Though you must remember that win/ lose  is easy and quick but for win/win one needs to remain patient, humble and persistent.

May Allah help you “win over” who ever you want to “win from”.


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