Brooklyn, my 4 year old daughter and I played 4 rounds of Uno today.
She beat me the first 3 times, and felt sorry for me, actually wanting me to win the last game.
I hear myself teaching little Brooklyn:
It’s a game in which we always do our best to win, not to be better than those we play with, but in order to play the best we can and improve our skills at the game, and to most importantly have fun.
It’s natural for Brooklyn to want things to be more equal, but feeling sorry for me over an ego blow, does not help me improve my skills at the game, nor bring us any closer.
We laughed the entire game, as I drew endless cards looking for a blue or a wild card.
Wanting to beat another to show our superiority, displays our belief in the importance of the game and our bolstered identity, not the importance of the soul we are playing with.
Helping the other improve their skills, and laughing about having more cards than I can hold in one hand, as we improve both of our own abilities, is the reason for playing in the first place.
If I cannot play well, it actually harms me to attempt to garner sympathy from my opponent (much less a 4 year old), though some want to win so bad that cheating and changing the rules in their favor actually occupies much of their strategy when they are down.
I wonder if their are any broader life lessons here.