Blog 1186 – 11.25.2018
As someone who as a child of the nineteen fifties, became a teenager in the nineteen sixties, and never knew computers, cell phones, or video games till much later, I am a life long Monopoly and other table games fan. I learned how to count money and make change playing Monopoly and table games at the kitchen table with my dad, mom, and younger brother. We spent a lot of hours together playing table games. The old saw is that the family that prays together stays together, I do not know about that. There was always table grace at meal times at that same kitchen table but we spent a lot more time together playing table games and learning how to bluff, negotiate trades, build houses and hotels and collect rent, than eating or praying together.
Life, although it can seem quite serious at times, is best played like a fun game. It, also like a game, is never so much about win or lose as it is win or learn. I am forever grateful to my parents for teaching me to play games and even more for teaching me that the time spent playing together is one of the greatest if not the greatest joy of life. My solitary activities, like walking, riding a bike, driving my truck, reading, writing, and singing are things that I love very much to do with also eating and sleeping but time shared across a table with a loved one or loved ones playing table games or putting jigsaw puzzles together, even more than sharing a meal or praying across a table together has been as James Earl Jones said of baseball in the sports classic movie Field Of Dreams – “the one constant in life.”
I noticed recently playing a game of Monopoly with friends who had a new set that Monopoly has changed. Some of the money is different colors, the rents on properties have changed, and even some of the Chance and Community Chest cards are different but not the object of the game. And, no, that like living has never been solely about winning but about learning and having fun while doing it.
I never realized till I took at trip to Atlantic City, New Jersey with my wife and son over ten years ago that the properties on the Monopoly board are named after the actual streets in Atlantic City. Life is a wonderful and an incredible journey if we learn to see it thus. Like a journey too often we become nervous and anxious about arriving at a certain time at our predetermined destination and worry about how long it is taking and how little progress we seem to be making.
My friend Bernie wrote me yesterday sharing a secret that he learned about how to make our manifestations, our desires, and our dreams, come true faster and with a lot more fun along the way. He learned it on a days long driving trip. He found himself as many of us have on such trips anxious and impatience at his seemingly slow and little progress but the thought came to him, “I am ruining this wonderful trip.” So he pulled over and took a long walk, taking the time to enjoy new and different sights and it was then he decided to make the most of every moment of the trip. After arriving at his destination days later he realized what we all eventually do that it is never really about the destination, that is always in the end home, but life is all about the fascinatingly wonderful journey along the way to where we already know where.
Learning to enjoy playing table games like Monopoly helped me learn that as a boy. I have not always remembered to just enjoy playing the game. Winning is not everything, there is also learning, and some lessons are worth learning again and again. Enjoy the journey. We all win in the end but what wonderful sights we see and lessons we learn along the way when we choose not to worry about the destination or the end of this particular game. Relax, enjoy, and leave the driving to Gus, (One of my favorite names for God, the Universe, Jesus, Allah – insert your favorite name for your Higher Self.)
Your friend and fellow traveler,
And a Heaven of a Monopoly player,
(My son Jonathan has from a boy been a winner at Monopoly
And he let me beat him twice yesterday, a belated B-day
Gift to dad I guess.)