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Friday, May 22, 2015

THE OBJECT OF THE GAME


THE OBJECT OF THE GAME
I learned something today while minding my littlest Crankette.  Connor, the almost five year old, shamed me into playing some games with him.

“Why you always playin on the puter?”

“What should I be doing?”

“We play some games?”

“Oh…ah sure, what game?”

Connor pulled out some games.  We first played “Connect Four” an interesting kind of fancy tic tac toe game.  I was very competitive and won two in a row, but I didn’t rub it in and actually let him think each game was a tie.  We then switched to a different game and this is where Conor taught me something.

We played “Don't Break The Ice."  In this game you build an ice skating rink out of little plastic blocks.  When that is done, you take turns knocking out the blocks of ice.  Eventually when you knock out one block the whole thing comes down along with a little skater dude.  The winner is the one who doesn’t knock down the skater dude.
 

Anyway.

Building the rink takes longer then knocking it down.  As we were putting it together I had no idea what the game was about. I asked Connor as we locked in these pieces of “ice”,

“What do you do to win this game?”

Now I am not a big believer in games where everyone wins and no one keeps score.  I am not an advocate of “Everyone gets a trophy” and I was never one for believing in that old saw “Out of the mouths of babes.” However Connor hit me with a concept that only an almost five year old could deliver.

“This is not a winning game, this is a having fun game.”

Competition is great, but there is nothing wrong, especially when you are almost five, with just having fun.

I will never be a professional golfer, not even on the senior circuit.  I will never be one of the best bowlers in my league.  I will never write a bestselling book or even be published.  I will never be able to play guitar well enough to perform to an audience.  There is nothing at this stage of my life where I will ever be immensely successful.  Just like an almost five year old that is still too small to expect to win; I am past the age of winning.

So now when I miss a short putt, blow an easy spare, write a mediocre blog post, or just cannot put together a clean guitar chord progression I will remember my almost five year olds words of wisdom and not be frustrated.  Instead I will remember that the game of life ultimately “Is not a winning game, it is a having fun game.”

22 comments:

  1. Out of the mouths of babes...!!

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  2. You really are just an old softy.

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  3. A great attitude! My personal favorite is Whack A Mole.

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  4. A having fun game. Those are the best.
    I remember Connect Four. From the time I first opened the box, my daughter, then aged four, won or tied every single game. She was speedy and good. After a while no one wanted to play it with her.

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  5. Connor is wise beyond his years. Your post reminded me of young son when he was a young son... he HAD to win at everything - or else! No fun in that!

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  6. True. We get lessons from the munchkins here too--something I need.

    On board games though, our favorite has been a Stop Thief (1980). I had it as a child and found one on e-Bay a few years ago. We have played that thing into the ground.

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  7. I always had the attitude of having fun playing games and could care less if I won or not, so I definitely like Connor's saying. I sadly never played that game with my kids but maybe (hopefully in more than a few years) will play it with grandkids. I like to play to play, win or lose. I became less enchanted with playing Word with Friends with someone who scored a very high word and then had the audacity to say they had used a "cheat" type of system to get the word they used (which was a word I never heard of). The challenge is figuring out words not letting a computer program do it for you. Took the fun away from playing with them (and my competitive streak kicked in because I vowed to win that game though they had an impressive lead and I did).

    betty

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  8. That little piece of wisdom resonates on so many levels.
    R

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  9. I liked trouble. I liked the sound of the push down bubble thing.

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  10. So very wise and I'm so glad I've finally reached the point in life where almost everything is a having fun time.

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  11. The having fun game is the very best game of all. Your grandson is brilliant.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  12. I played on a softball team that was all about having fun.
    Then we started winning.
    Then it stopped being fun.

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  13. I love that line, and I think I will be using it from now on when I play anybody at any game (because I always lose).

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  14. Connor's precocious wisdom reminds me that it was also a child who questioned, "What if they gave a war and nobody came?"

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  15. How i wish this philosophy could be learned by everyone!

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  16. Connor is one smart little boy. Great advice!

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  17. What a smart kid and how right he is. We should all learn to have more fun and think less about winning. I'm trying to adopt that attitude now while watching my inept Marlins implode.

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  18. Excellent post. But I thought you WERE a published author.

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  19. What a great thought - this should become a famous quote!

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  20. You should get on eBay and find Connor a Feeley Meeley game. It's a "having fun" game, too, except you don't get to whack anything.

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  21. I love this story. Lovely on so many levels.

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