Friday, December 26, 2014

Lesson of Monopoly, Age 12

My sister was babysitting my best friend Fran and me. We decided to play Monopoly. After about an hour, I was just mopping the floor with Fran. I had so many monopolies, and hotels on hotels. Fran landed on one of my big money traps, and she just couldn't pay. Game over. But we didn't want it to be, so I, counting my fat stacks of yellow cash told her, "It's a gift." I didn't make her pay anything, and we played on. And the tide started turning for Fran. She got her own little block of homes, and eventually I even landed on them. The penalty was kinda a lot. Her investment had paid off. She, unlike me, didn't offer to let me go free. I got really defensive and a little snippy. My fee for her had been higher! And I had had such goodwill earlier! Hello!?

My sister, who was sort of lazily flopped on Fran's bed half-reading a YA novel asked me what I really expected out of the game. She pointedly asked, "Do you just expect a guaranteed win because you helped Fran out?" It sounded crazy, but I realized, yes, that was exactly what I had decided. Whoops. My sister went on to explain, "If she never makes you pay, you're just going to have to bail her out again." True. True. How come I hadn't thought of that? If you're going to be giving, you've got to be game. You've got to know good luck may come back to those you helped, but that means very little. No one owes you anything--especially if you were in a position where offering was a little thing, and for the act to be returned it would be a big thing. Even steven mindset will set you up for major disappointment in life, and it will be your own fault. Don't given what you can't afford to flat out loose. Don't harbor secret expectations of people. Just throw the excess you have to the wind, and forget, forget.

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