MARCH 19, 2022: “The Price We Pay To Play” …

Useless news flash for all of you: Today is both “World Monopoly Dayand it’s 81st birthday! Yes, my friends, it was on this day eight decades ago that the iconic, monocle sporting, sharp dressed little dude we all know and love, “Rich Uncle Penny Bags” was born!

So, in keeping with the game play theme, I want to share something kinda poignant I’ve learned about playing games over the years … that is … there is a price to pay for rolling the dice. And no, I’m not necessarily talking about the metaphorical life games we play with peoples’ hearts and minds, I’m talking about the actual games we play for fun and jest like our beloved Monopoly.

You really can learn a lot about not just other people, but yourself as well, when playing recreational “games” with them. Watch how a person plays any kind of game, be them board games, cards, video games, and even sports, and you’ll catch a fairly authentic glimpse of not just their personality, but how they handle and present themselves in everyday, social, and business settings as well. If you pay close enough attention, you’ll likely be able to see their:

  • Ethics.
  • Morality.
  • Honesty.
  • Integrity.
  • Patience.
  • Humility.
  • Priorities.
  • Coping skills.
  • Jealousy.
  • Generosity.

If you pay even closer enough attention, you may be able to see their:

  • Ability to hold random conversations.
  • Sense of entitlement if there is one.
  • Ability to compromise and be flexible.
  • Ability to collaborate.
  • Ability to share.
  • Overall life goals and motivation.
  • Attitude about people in general.

Ya wanna know what kind of person you’re really dealing with in “real life”? Challenge them to a game of Monopoly, pop some popcorn, and observe! Of all the things you can garner about a person’s personality, many of which aren’t even listed above, perhaps the most telltale sign of who and what they really are is their attitude whether they win or lose. Do they accept defeat with anger, resentment, jealously, and tantrum, or do they accept it with a “win some or lose some” grain of salt”? Or if they win, do they become a pompous in your face ASSHOLE, or just stay humble and thankful that “this time” they won because “sometimes they don’t”?

Truth being told, I myself have learned a great many things about my own children, God love them both, having both watched and played play board games with them over the years. As it turns out, I’ve raised one shark and one saint, neither of whom I’ll identify by name to either protect their guilt or save their face, lol.

Meanwhile, one of my darlings has been known to literally flip the Monopoly board upside down in a fit of rage when the game isn’t going their way and takes great personal offense when they can’t manage to con someone into selling them ALL the prime real estate on the bougie block of the board. That’s also the same child who shows no mercy whatsoever when people land on their Boardwalk hotel and have to forfeit the game. Meanwhile, much like me, my other one simply walks away from lost board games like, “So what, I lost, but DAMN that was fun!” That’s the same one who feels awful and shares more than an abundance of grace, often to their own demise, when someone lands on their Boardwalk and is on the brink of their own demise.

I’m Jean Claude Van DAMN telling you people – BOARD GAMES are the “real deal” when it comes to reading people. And by the way, as I said at the beginning, this “game playing test” also works for ourselves. As I’ve gotten older and really homed in on the process of self-discovery, awareness, and accountability, I, too, have “checked and balanced myself” when I was playing a game by really thinking about “why” I either did or didn’t react in certain ways or think, say, or do certain things:

Damn, girl, why’d you do that? It’s JUST a game?”

… or …

Damn, girl, why’d you do that? Don you even WANT to win this game?

As far as I’m concerned, and in case you haven’t already figured this out by now in reading through my Diary, there really is a message in every moment and something to be learned in the process and outcome of every single thing in which we endeavor. EVEN SILLY BOARD GAMES! Yes, there sure is a price to pay for “playing games” with the truly discerning amongst us, that being the risk of showing who you really are. By the time the game is over though, the end will have justified the means, ’cause let’s be honest, folks, these days it’s getting harder to tell the difference between real and make believe. Whether or not we like it or will admit it, so many people are hiding from even themselves and pretending to be someone they’re not, so if Monopoly is what it takes to get someone to speak their truth with the simple roll of a dice, let the games begin!

PRICE TO PLAY

Fail to see how destructive we can be. Taking without giving back ’til the damage can be seen. Can you see? Can you see? The more you take, the more you blame, but everything still feels the same. The more you hurt the more you scream. The price you pay to play the game. Then all you see and all you gave and all you step on with no shame. There are no rules, no one to blame. The price to play the game. Empathy, the chosen way to be. Blindly look the other way while you waste away with me. Can you see? Can you see? The more you take, the more you blame, but everything still feels the same. The more you hurt the more you scream. The price you pay to play the game. {Staind}

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