I love games. Not the kind where you manipulate humans to get what you think you want. The kind where you play with colorful pieces on a colorful board to reach an arbitrary goal and interact with other human beings. I love them when you can alternate between cheering for yourself and strategizing how to get ahead, and being glad that someone else is winning because you know they’re having a good time. I want everyone to win, which is why I really like collaborative board games where all the people work together to keep a big nasty from bringing darkness and destruction to the world. This was all put into sharp focus as I was playing Candy land with my new friend Jessica. (she’s 5)
We played something like five games.
I was excited about the first win. Each subsequent time I hoped and prayed for Jessica to win.
But there is no strategy in Candy Land. It’s all luck.
I could see her grasping at ways to get ahead. Crankyness ensued.
So that’s lesson one.
Competition is pointless in games of chance.
It’s more fun to work together on something so that we both win.
It’s important that everyone is a different color so we know who is who. That is to say…be your unique self. People want to know who you really are. Don’t be afraid to be green. It’s not easy being blue or red or yellow either.
Remember who you are. If you get ahead because you’re acting like someone else, it doesn’t help. You’ll have to go back and start over when you realize you weren’t being you.
Look where you’re going. There are a lot of twists and turns on this game board. It’s very easy to get lost and be unsure of which direction you should be going because you were looking backwards.
Your integrity will be tested. You will make mistakes. You will try to make them right. You will be tempted to take the easy path of pleasing someone. But even if it is much, much harder to do, it is always better to hold on to your values, explain your mistake clearly, and why you need to make the hard choice, and do the honorable thing.
When you’re not sure what is most important to you, it’s much easier to get off track. When you are busy all the time, it is much easier to miss these lessons. Slowing down is the only way to really learn them.
Jessica finally won the last game we played. I am so grateful!