By David Anderson
What if you found out you’d been playing Monopoly all wrong all your life?
Endlessly circling the board hoping to throw the right number on the dice enabling you to land on the right property giving you the opportunity you’d otherwise never have had to sell all you owned to purchase that one 1.5×2.5” space upon which you could then build hotel after hotel in the further hope that friends and family would, by the unfortunate-roll-of-the-dice — for them — (insert ruthless laughter), land there and you could summarily sweep all their cash and holdings off the board, removing any and all visible vestige that they ever existed and while they weep piteously for mercy you gleefully and uproariously respond that most certainly they shall have none?
In your dreams?
Not any more.
Turns out Fox News (seriously) broke the news just today that you need not wait any longer for the untimely demise of the what will likely become former family and friends as a heretofore mostly forgotten means by which to speed up the game and concurrently dispose of contenders to the monopoly throne has now been revealed.
You can read (and your soon-to-be former acquaintances can weep) it here.
But how to dominate your table-game world is not the purpose of this post.
Rather it’s this:
What if you discovered you’d been living-out all your days all wrong all your life? More importantly, what does it take to realize that the Hokey-Pokey is not what it’s all about?
Andy Andrews, having spoken at the request of four different United States presidents and hailed by the New York Times as “one of the most influential people in America,” said this: “We’ve got to get people thinking about thinking, frankly,” he said, because it’s not just what you think about, but what you don’t think about, that’s significant.”
Think about it.
Because if you don’t think about it, the thought that should have occurred to you if only you’d have given it some thought, and some voice, might have saved lives.
In an article entitled “Are You a Sheep or a Sheepdog?” authors Brett and Kate McKay describe the disastrous consequences of the former condition with their horrific account of a backcountry trip by “16 of the nation’s top snow boarders and skiers” near Steven’s Pass. For various reasons, “no one gave voice to their worry” of the snow conditions with the following consequence: “As the skiers and snowboarders started their descent, they triggered a massive avalanche; 7,000 cubic meters and 11 million pounds of snow began a ferocious 70mph slide down the mountain. Five members of the group were swept up in it, three of which were gruesomely pummeled and killed.”
Far less consequential but because of the same ignored principle, the Seattle Mariners lost a game to the San Diego Padres when no one thought to challenge Padres player Cameron Maybin who on a full count laid down his bat and sauntered on down to first base in the fifth inning. On ball three. And nobody protested.
Not one of the umpires said ‘Hey, Cammy buddy. Nice try. C’mon back here. You can’t go to first in the fifth, or any other inning, on ball three.’ Mariners’ catcher Josh Bard simply took ball three – in the fifth – and threw it back to pitcher Doug Fister. And neither of them said anything. Mariner’s manager Eric Wedge didn’t storm out onto the field and get nose-to-nose with home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi. Everybody in the dugout just sat there. Everybody on the field just stood there. Meanwhile Maybin sauntered there. To first base. In the fifth. On ball three.
Somebody should have said something. But nobody did. And because nobody said anything, Maybin would go on to score the only run of the game and the Mariners would lose. For something that never should have happened.
Because nobody spoke up.
Even worse, nobody even thought to speak up. Or if they did have a fleeting, worrisome thought that something about this didn’t seem right – like they were actually keeping track and had their head in the game – still they might have reasoned, ‘we’re all professionals out here after all. Surely somebody knows something about who’s on first and how he got there.’ I mean right? And so because somebody should have done something because they had thought something and had given voice to what they thought, because nobody did then for everyone – except Maybin – the outcome looked pretty embarrassing. They just all went along. Without a second thought.
The downhill skiers and snowboarders were experts too. But it all went downhill.
Psychology Today declares our malady one of a “nation of wimps.”
“Shortly after psychologist Robert Epstein, former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today and professor at the University of California, San Diego, announced to his university students that he expected them to work hard and would hold them to high standards, he heard from a parent—on official judicial stationery—asking how he could dare mistreat the young.”
Really. I mean how hokey to require at a university that those responsible for the future of our country should actually give it some thought?
If, or rather since, it behooves us to teach our children to Stop, Look, and Listen so they don’t get run over, then surely helping them think, and then speaking and acting in consort, can help them win in the game of life.
Just a thought.