Life is a game of Monopoly.
(Inspired by Touker Suleyman and Rupert Approves)
Life is a game. Yes, you read that right. Life is a game.
Some win, some lose, some end up in jail. The only difference between the game of Monopoly and the game of Life is that it’s not only the ones with the most money who wins. Everybody’s definition of success and value is different.
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One can be very, very successful in poverty. Once can raise four kids with the highest set of values with very little money.
The problem with the game of life
The problem with the game of life is that most people take it as seriously as a game of Monopoly, if not more. They (we) take ourselves that seriously sometimes.
Some build a Monopoly box filled with money. For their kids. To leave some sort of legacy? They build in Trust Funds, life insurance, retirement funds, properties, hotels, you name it. Others leave a fundamental legacy that cannot physically get packed away into the monopoly box and shoved into a dark cupboard (or a grave, six feet under).
Some build a legacy filled with both.
The fact of the matter is that if one builds a box filled with materialistic wealth and money, it WILL all go missing somewhere down the line. Somebody in the generations to come is going to mess it up and lose all of it. Even if the accumulated wealth is divided between 4 kids, one of them might be stupid or addicted to drugs and piss his portion out. The other three might be stingy and invest to make it grow as much as possible, but even those three who managed to keep the wealth in the family will have the family’s hard-earned money “moved” to someone else at some point. (The “guilty” party could be a grandchild of one of the grandchildren?) For silly big amounts of money, it could take hundreds and hundreds of years for the money to move out of the family.
People are different. Some have skills in making money, others don’t. This is how entrepreneurs build their materialistic wealth.
I’m talking about entrepreneurs who came from absolutely nothing to where they are today. There are too many to mention.
Let’s just look at some South African politics here for a second, and the disgusting entitlement that we face here. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. The government cannot give to anybody what the government doesn’t first take from somebody else.
When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them; and when the other half get the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of a nation.
I digress though, let’s not get started on politics and land reform and general entitlement.
Life is a game
Entrepreneurs who come from nothing spot opportunities to accumulate wealth by WORKING.
Most of them realize that this whole business called life is just a game though. They know that they are leaving with NOTHING, just like the beggar on the street.
And, they have fun. Games are about having fun. The strategy is fun. Winning is fun. Take the trip, buy the shoes, eat the cake. Taking the trip doesn’t necessarily mean the trip to the Maldives. Taking the trip could mean the local park, with a nice picnic. Sometimes one needs to read properly. Read twice. Read to comprehend.
Winning is a highly, highly personal definition.
To me, winning means beating myself. Being better than the one I was yesterday. I’m not competing with anyone in this game of Life. I can’t. Because my DNA is unique. There is no age group or weight group that I fit into for competition to win at Life. I only have myself to measure myself against.
Money to me, proper money in this world, is only paper. Zim dollars, Rands, US Dollars, all money. It’s not much different to the money in the Monopoly box. Only the paper quality is different. And we need it, yes. To live and to play. And preferably we need some in savings, some in an emergency, some for old age (if we happen to get there).
The best thing about money
The best thing about the proper paper money is that there is more, everywhere, and we have access to it. It’s in the bank. We simply have to WORK for it. It’s lying all around the world in other people’s bank accounts, in Investments, in people’s pockets. There is more money in this world than we ourselves can even comprehend. And it is really not so difficult to access that money. I mean, really. If you can boil an egg you can access the money from the pocket of the guy standing in line to catch a taxi. That’s how easy it is to make money in this beautiful country that we live in. You buy six eggs (the cheapest you can find) you boil them at home (on gas or the cheapest way you can) and you walk to the closest taxi line (those okes are hungry after a full day’s work) and you sell your boiled eggs at the highest profit you possibly can. If they won’t buy them, you drop the price and you can go as low as you are prepared to go. One very hungry guy is going to pay the cost of all six eggs for one egg and then your flexibility on the price increases. It’s so very, very simple.
We do not have access to more TIME. We also cannot buy time from other people. Sell time to other people. Nobody has more of it. There is no “Time Bank”.
Using our time wisely
Using our time in this game of life is a whole different ballgame. We need time to teach life lessons to our kids. We need time to leave behind a legacy of things that stay behind with our kids. The time that we give stays with them. It does not go back into the box (the monopoly box, six feet under).
The time that we get is enough time. Always. This is all planned before we even come here. The secret to using the time that we have is to be present in the time that we give.
If we have six hours a day to spend with our kids but we have our minds on other things for 5 hours and 50 minutes we are doing something wrong. Because chances are that they are going to remember something that happened in the third hour when our reaction was totally absent.
If we have 20 minutes a day with our kids, 20 minutes of full-on presence, that is the gift that we leave behind.
That is the legacy that lives on forever.
It doesn’t matter if you are working 11 hours a day, playing cricket/netball every Saturday or travelling often. If we are present in the time that we spend with our kids, our legacy lives on forever.
With Love and Gratitude,
*This is not a sponsored Blog Post
*English is not the First Language of the Author