Submitted by David Anderson.
In the number of times we’ve played this game, it’s usually not long – especially among fifth graders – before one of them says, ‘There’s no way for us to win.’ Followed by ‘that’s not fair.’
Extrapolate this little exercise to the proportions that are sometimes seen, sadly more often any more than not, in the headlines or as we head out-and-about and it’s easy – or at least easier – to see why we display such hostility toward perceived dishonesty or unfairness or heavy-handedness on the one hand or, just as bad – the flip side of the coin – ambivalence, avoidance, and apathy especially when something very important may have been at stake.
In either case, the one flipping the coin wins.
If you can call it that.
But at what cost?
There’s an ancient proverb that seems to suggest that head-in-the-sand, hear-see-and-speak no evil, go-along-to-get-along is preferable to disputes, arguments, debates, diatribes, quarrelings and the like.
After all, or so the argument goes – speaking of arguments – such hostilities are said to only further divide the combatants and are likened to the barred gates of a citadel, closed and locked doors, the draw bridge hoisted and hungry alligators awaiting in the moat.
But, maybe, what is here more intended, is that we do well to avoid unnecessary grievances; be especially careful if prone to abrasiveness; and, whether parent or politician, have plastered a sticky-note reminder on our to-do list that lording-it-over others – our children or our citizens – loses them to our cause, divides rather than unites.
Producing either hostility or apathy can hardly be called a victory.
And winning them back is about as easy a task as breaking through a fortified castle wall.