Not too long ago, it was fashionable to dis the childhood game of musical chairs. This dis even appeared in the comic "Family Circus." (From the Latin word circulus, from whence we get circle. No coincidence that the single frame cartoon appears in a circle.) Dolly, the daughter, is in tears because she didn't get a chair. Okay, now back to our posting. (For this we must rely on some familiar names.)
teacher has the class playing musical chairs. Each child wants to win.
Alas, Whoopi is the first to be left without a chair. Only, this is
first grade so no one has yet taught her about feeling marginalized and
low self-esteem. But Whoopi is encouraged to root for her good friend,
Joy. So, Whoopi roots for her friend Joy.
In the next round,
Barbara is eliminated. She, too, has not yet been taught to feel
marginalized and low self-esteem. So, Barbara roots for her friend
Sheri. Barbara and Whoopi learn a valuable lesson: they can disagree
without being disagreeable.
But wait! In the next round, Joy is
eliminated. Now, does Joy root for Elisabeth? Or, does Joy join Barbara
in rooting for Sheri?
Ultimately, someone wins. The class learns a
valuable lesson. They can root for people other than themselves. They
learn that they can celebrate someone else's victory.
The following day, the class plays the same game all over again, and everyone gets a brand new chance.
What are some of the lessons we've learned?
1. We don't always win. We learn how to be a good sport. WE LEARN NOT TO BE SELFISH.
It isn't always about us. We can root for a classmate and don't need to
feel marginalized and low self-esteem. We learn to focus on the
feelings of others. WE LEARN EMPATHY FOR OTHERS.
3. We can
disagree without being disagreeable. We can root for one classmate while
a friend roots for another. WE LEARN RESPECT FOR THE OPINIONS OF
4. Ultimately, one of our classmates will win. We learn
to cheer for one of our group even when we are not the one hogging the
spotlight. WE LEARN TO ADMIRE THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF OTHERS.
Tomorrow, we play the game all over again. And everyone gets another
chance. WE LEARN TO PERSEVERE, THAT WE GET A SECOND CHANCE, THAT WE CAN
PUT A FAILURE BEHIND US AND TRY AGAIN.
Imagine, all those great
lessons we can learn as little children. Those great lessons we learned
as little children. But many of those lessons are not being taught. The
game was vilified, trashed, and disrespected with a barrage of cliches,
slogans, and platitudes. Then, when children grow up without those
valuable lessons having been taught to them, the same people who caused
the problem in the first place are out preaching the need to be
sensitive, empathetic, and persevering. Isn't that special. The people
who caused the problems with cliches, slogans, and platitudes, are
trying to solve the problem with the same cliches, slogans, and
platitudes. Don't tell me no!
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