I enjoy the odd boardgame now and then, trying to outwit and outplay, using the best strategies possible. From a very young age, we are taught that games are played to win, right? I recall my much younger days and the popular game of Monopoly. I mean it was bad. I loved the game, but before I had any chance of losing I would flip the board with my bare hands, sending houses and hotels flying in all directions, you know, so no one could win. I hated losing and I’m guessing my siblings hated playing with me. And that was something I had to work on throughout growing up (and yes, I’m still growing up).
But not once have I had to question my own intrinsic values.
Cue: Cheaters Monopoly
A game designed like Monopoly, only allowing cheating as directed by the cards and rules. It gives one the impression that cheating is actually ok when it’s controlled and managed within specific boundaries, or when no one is looking.
Of course I was quite enjoying the game. I was ahead and only cheated as the cards said I should cheat. I played by all the rules, the cheating rules and I didn’t think anymore of it. I mean generally I’m really good at following rules and quite amicably. Of course when someone stepped out of line, I would notice and set them straight! I found it quite entertaining.
Until my hubby stood up and said he just can’t play anymore. He hated the fact that his wife (aka me) could just take things from him because she was allowed to cheat. He hated being caught out when he tried to cheat even though he followed the rules. He reached a point where he just felt horrible.
I instantly found myself asking:
How come I wasn’t the one that stood up and said enough is enough?
It took my hubby’s actions for me to question what I was doing. What role models were we putting on display for the boys? Validating every thought with the excuse of ‘It’s just a game!‘
Unfortunately, the list can go on and on: ‘It’s just a movie!’, ‘It’s just a piece of cake!’, ‘It’s just an unconsented sexual experience!’, ‘It’s just another drink!’, ‘It’s just who I am!’ Surely these are questionable unvalidated excuses?
As I took delight in being an excellent rule abiding cheat, in this newly identified wickedness, it was as though a horrible trait was extracted from the very core of who I am. I’m actually embarrassed.
Unfortunately, the world is exactly like this. What I have found is that it appears impatience would be the lucky winner of the day, driving that ugly monster of greed:
It seems greed has become so familiar that it is no longer recognizable. It masquerades as your servant when in fact it is your god, leaving one with that constant nagging of ‘What’s in it for me?’
(For more insight read Crazy Little Thing Called).
So what now? How do we deal with that?
Well, for me I continually acknowledge my own fallibility. I have come to understand that deep down something dark and ugly lurks just waiting for me to give it an open door, and that door opens as soon as I become impatient for anything. And so I chose not. Just maybe I can be better and take on the mindset of ‘What’s in it for you and not what’s in it for me?’!