Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Game

You just lost.

The commercials say, "You can be a winner in the game of Life!  Spin the wheel (I'm on my way!)" -- but whose game are you playing?

This is the ultimate key to happiness, but it is very easy to get swept up in the wrong direction, by playing other people's games.  Our society -- every society -- is very good at appealing to specific things that people value: love, social status, material goods, etc.  This appeal is then used to make you buy into the system.  You play the game.

Big deal, right?  It makes sense, just like a board game.  But are the rules of the game you are playing rules that you agree with?  If so, you are golden.  If not, then there are two games: the one you are playing for the rest of the world, and the one you are playing for yourself.  So what does that mean?

Personally, by the standards of "their" game, I am doing pretty well.  If you want to look at my place in our society and rate all aspects of my life, I would score above the median.  I have most of the normal things that define success; not all of them, but I'm not out on the street either.  Take it up a level and include the rest of the world, and although my life is not one of opulence you can rate me fairly high on the winning side compared to the billions of folks who are really poor.  They've lost this game, but who is to say if they are winning their own?

The vast majority must be winning on their own, because they happily accept that they are losing in that "other" game that everyone seems to be playing.  Either that, or it is okay to lose, just as long as you get to play.

I don't really know about anyone else, but I started out with my own game, and feel like it has been twisted around to meet the requirements of modern American life.  The only way is to take back control and consciously make up my own rules.  This takes a lot of guile, and is no easy feat.  I'm not saying I am any good at doing it, but the first step is to recognize what must be done...  Wanna play?

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