Friday, June 13, 2008

To Win or To Play

This may come as a contradiction to the well known phrases, such as “You eat to live” or “You work to live” or anything for the sake of living. If everything is goal oriented then there is less enjoyment along the way and there is more cheating involved.

I was playing Candy Land with the kids I was babysitting. Now each kid was different. One constantly wanted to win. He started off the game saying “I’m going to win”. This may seem good at first, that he has good ambition. But then when it was his turn, he wasn’t happy with the card he got and wanted to land on the ice cream cone or cupcake instead. So he just moved himself to a different place he wanted to be on so that he will be closer to the finish line.

Meanwhile one of the girls sincerely wanted to play the game and was very into following all the rules. She would yell out to her brother “no you can’t do that” but of course he wouldn’t listen cause he just wanted to win. Now she didn’t get to enjoy the game so much when she was the police man enforcing the rules of the game on others. I told her not to worry that she should let him put his piece where he wants but then it will be like he’s not really playing the game. After that she was playing the game more happily.

The third child wasn’t goal oriented and her main focus wasn’t winning the game, she just wanted to play the game and have a good time. Then when she did get a double color or got to jump to a far away place she was happy. She might not have been able to win the game like that, but she definitely enjoyed the game the most.

Now, taking this lesson to life, there are three types of people. You can either be very competitive and take all means to get there, you can be money oriented and lie and cheat to get your million dollars. Or you can be the preacher telling everyone else what to do and making sure everyone is law abiding while you suffer and don’t get to enjoy what you have and are too busy meddling into other people’s affairs. Or Finally you can be the opportunist who just lives life as it is and enjoys every moment of it without worrying about achieving a goal.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have a reason for doing what your doing. You can have a reason for your actions. But you shouldn’t have a goal that interferes with you completing your actions righteously. You can have a goal to live a honest righteous life and therefore all your actions will be correct and you will be pleased with yourself for being good.

1 comment:

  1. I think I visit here for the mussar.
    Great point.


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