Let’s Win!

For those of you who don’t know already, I have a blog crush. Every time this blogger hits publish, my heart flutters. Like the boy who finally gets the nerve to ask the girl who has been dancing all night for a dance, I usually get turned down when I approach these triple Freshly Pressed celebrities. But this blogger has more heart than the average dancing queen, so she agreed to guest blog for EverydayGurus. I can’t think of a more appropriate guest blogger, since this blog is about spreading the peace and her blog is about spreading the love. I’m so honored to present the incredible Rarasaur.

p.s. The related articles links below are my doing, not Rarasaur trying to drum up traffic which she doesn’t need. Please check out the magic in these other posts by the most popular dinosaur on wordpress.

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Video games can be a great framework for solution-oriented thinking, and perhaps my experience with them is to blame for my constant desire for a game plan. When I hear things like, “Let’s reclaim humanity”, I don’t want to talk about how we’ve lost sight of kindness, or the good ol’ days, or oil spills, or human trafficking.

I want to talk about what we can do, right now, to win it back.  Here’s how it’d look different if we treated our big issues like a well-coordinated video game.

THE PRIORITIZATION AND IMPORTANCE OF GOALS

ghostIn a video game environment, let’s say the goal is finding a ghost pirate. A first tier goal would be learning how to sail a ship to the island. A second tier goal would be becoming a pirate so you would be able to sail the ship.

You’re not playing the game right if you make finding grog the whole point. Nor can you seek out the ghost pirate if you skip the first or second tiered goals.

It’s important that you see all the missions, but that you keep the big win in mind– because you don’t want to become so focused on a mini goal that you destroy your ship and thus any chance of finding the ghost pirate.

There’s a balance, and a big picture– and an ever-present list of everything that is important.

We need something similar to solve the world. What do we want? In a sentence, what is the big picture goal?  World peace? Happiness? No more hunger? Literacy? An educated world peoples united in our love for mother Earth?

The next step: what tasks do we need to accomplish in order to achieve our goals?

THE CONSCIOUS CHOOSING OF ENEMIES

hqdefaultIn a video game, it’s easy to feel like the bartender is your enemy because he doesn’t supply you with the information you need in the first mission. You’ll be prompted to choose your response– you can thank him anyway, or toss your drink in his face.

In real life, we do a lot of drink tossing. When someone explains that their agenda is different from our own– when someone risks saying that they voted Republican, or that they’re more concerned with the gun control than feminism, or when they feel like farming is the most important industry in the world– we very often burn our bridges with them. We dramatize their status as enemies. We say that they don’t understand, that they’re keeping us down, and that they are standing in our way.

But if you’ve ever played a video game, you know what happens in the next scene.

That’s right, the bartender becomes your best ally. You were kind, and now you have his trust.

There’s no underestimating the power of kindness, and there’s no benefit to seeing bad guys everywhere you look.  We need to stop and think– has destroying opposing opinions, and converting non-believers, become more important than achieving our unified goal?

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF LIMITATIONS

You are powerful, and your strength is infinite. However, not all resources are so grounded in eternity. Money, skills, and time are all in short supply. The truth is, though, most people manage fine without all of them– or even most of them– and in some cases, any of them.

In a video game, it’s not uncommon to come across a village of people who don’t speak your language. You can’t just start talking and expect results. You have to find a translator, or you have to learn the language. You are limited by both skill and time, and it’s something you simply have to accept. Once you accept it, you can change it.

oblivion_skillsIt’s much the same in real life. Just talking doesn’t solve problems because you’re so often speaking to people who may not understand. It’s a limitation, but it’s one we can overcome with patience.

Because of limitations, it’s also not healthy in a game to spread your skill points around. For example, if you have 5 players on your team, and 10 coins that could make someone into a full-blown wizard– there would be no point in giving each player 2 coins that would only allow them a minor magic level. Allocation of your resources is something that a gamer can spend hours on, but in real life– we breeze by. We regularly mis-allocate our limited resources. We throw our money at a cause without really thinking of what it’s doing, or where it’s going. We do the same with our time and skill.

We have to ask ourselves: At what point is donating to awareness taking away from donating to research or charity-to-person action? What does winning a governmental presence do for our big picture if we don’t have one?  Should we be spending fundraising dollars inwards, or in partnerships? Are we preaching to people in a language they don’t understand?

THERE’S NEVER TOO MUCH EDUCATION

Skyrim_TrainingIt’s not uncommon in games to be stopped by people wanting to show you how to sword fight, or make grog, or use intergalactic time portals. It seems random, and fanciful, but it’s really not.

Life has many opportunities for education, too. A gamer never passes an opportunity for education, because you never know when you’ll discover the missing puzzle piece that helps you win the game.

If you think you can’t change the world, educate yourself.  Learn how much impact every one of your actions has, regardless of whether you are the hero or side-kick.

And when you begin to understand that (like a gamer in a game environment) you change your surroundings simply by existing in them– continue to educate yourself so the changes you make push us towards the win.

We can do it!

YouWin

Assuming all things are possible, what is big goal should the world be working towards? Do you have any tricks for seeing friends where ego and fear might make you see enemies? How do you continue your life-long education?

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49 comments on “Let’s Win!

  1. […] love your thoughts, so come on over and say hey, will ya? http://everydaygurus.com/2013/10/17/lets-win/ and be sure to check out Matticus’ offering while you’re over that way: […]

  2. Lol, I totally get the blog crush thing. There’s always this sense of simultaneous excitement and calm when I hit publish… Woot. =P

    Love the parallel you’ve drawn here. Personally I find its not really that hard to get along with people, unless they’re asses. Or Bieliebers. I’d even say some beliebers aren’t too bad, hmm.. =P one thing I stick to is that I’m nice to everyone I meet, unless they give me reason not to. Much simpler that way, really.

    Great write up Rawra!! xx

  3. It’s all very Miss Universe of me but….world peace :-) Everyone deserves to live without fear, with happiness.

    The constant practice of Buddhism leads me to see everyone as friends – we’re all connected. And education? Just opening my eyes each morning means I’m continuing – you learn something every day, as ‘they’ say.

    All too glib and simplified?

    Loved your post Rara, and your introduction Kozo xx

    • rarasaur says:

      I’d vote for you, Annie! :D “Everyone deserves to live without fear, and with happiness” – I love it. I think that’s a beautiful big goal.

      I really do believe we’re all connected. It’s part of the reason I separate myself from most “causes”– they tend to breed the idea that there’s an enemy out there. It’s also why I wish we could move past that. Helping one doesn’t hurt the other– not if we’re all working towards the same goal.

      Thank you for reading! :D

      (I was pretty in love with Kozo’s introduction,too. :) )

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      World Peace, We are all Connected, and Learn Something Everyday. Perfect. Sounds like a recipe for a wonderful life, Annie. Thanks for contributing to humanity. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  4. shreejacob says:

    Hmmm…..I don’t play video games…even with Candy Crush I kinda just click at random and hope for the best! My sister keeps telling me that it’s Strategy!!!!! LOL

    However, I totally agree with all the points that you made because to me it boils down to a few things…or maybe one or two things…which are: Intention, quality of motivation and it’s not the ideas but the ideals.

    We get so stressed out about people not having the same ideas as us that we completely overlook the fact that they actually have the same ideals as us…it’s the same with faith traditions as well (learned that from a book..hehe)

    For me the BIG goal would be to learn to love, because when you love there is no place for fear and when there is no fear there is no reason for things born out of fear to survive…you know?

    Not sure about tricks…but well …now that I seem to be more aware it’s helping me catch myself every time I wanna clobber someone with a shoe..hehe (okay, I have more work to do :P)

    • rarasaur says:

      “Intention, quality of motivation and it’s not the ideas but the ideals.” – yes. :) Well said, Shree. :)

      I like the idea of the BIG goal being love– you can’t have peace without that. Thanks for popping over to read. :D

      • shreejacob says:

        Ty! It’s actually from the Edgar Cayce Primer book..which is AWESOME!..ahem…

        And you’re welcome! Like my sister says…”follow each other’s tails”..bahahaha

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Love, love, love having Love as the end goal. Let’s set up a strategy for that. No need to worry about enemies when love is the goal. Education is key. Imagine a whole major devoted to love. No limitations with love either. Love it. {{Hugs}}} kozo

  5. Rara, I usually love your stuff. I’m a great fan. But this lost me at the first fence, because I’m not a gamer. I can see where you were going with this, but it seemed to me that the analogy has been stretched past what a materials scientist calls the ‘elastic limit.’
    Now you can get all your mates to flame my blog. :D

    • rarasaur says:

      Haha, I would never do that… obviously. :) I think if you were a gamer, it would make more sense– I only realized after I had written it how much it doesn’t make sense if you aren’t. :) It would have helped if I used specific examples, but I pulled most of those out since I didn’t want to get into argument about one specific thing like feminism or literacy.

      The main point being is that I think we struggle with making changes in certain areas because people who are in charge of those areas of change are often equipped with the same mindset. It’s why a scientist can take a job at a fast food restaurant, and revolutionize it… or a basis mechanic can walk into NASA and point out something they missed. We wire our brains to our surrounding.

      There’s basic elements of video game play that I think would assist with people asking the questions they need to ask, in order to get their activism acted on. Activism lags because of the inner-world conflicts. Health vegetarians don’t want to support social vegetarians, and the other way around, because they feel like it matters why someone stops eating meat. The searching for enemies instead of friends is the big one. The lack of a big goal is a big problem too– in a game, you set a goal and you march towards it. But if someone thinks the end all goal is censorship, and someone else thinks it’s global care… we work at cross purposes. And then of course education– activists educate themselves heavily on their own already established opinion, and sometimes on the polar opposite– but rarely seek out education on other equally important issues. It’s a mess.

      I guess the point is that we need to simplify things– make standing up for the good of the earth as easy and as straight forward as a video game. :)

      • No problem with the overall aim here, none whatsoever. The example of warring vegetarians is a good one. Both camps are proselytisers, and only unite against ‘carnivores.’ Most odd.
        Good of the earth is a terribly complicated concept, for the reasons you point out. I might, for example, believe that the world would be a better place without people being called Kevin. It’s unlikely that if I did have a deeply held belief about that, you’d be able to convince me otherwise. You’d disagree, but that wouldn’t necessarily make you right. You’d be right in your own mind, but it’s not an absolute ‘right’ because there aren’t many of them.

    • rarasaur says:

      You’re right. I was thinking about that when I was going to list global concepts that we could all agree on. Like the educating of children. But then I realized– some people adamantly don’t believe in that. It’s horrifying to me, but normal life to them– and I’m no more “absolutely right” just because I can talk for hours about it. Then I thought– extending the lifespan of the earth– we all want that, right? But, one quick google search later, and it turns out… nope, we all don’t.

      I just feel like a lot of our smaller goals would have already been achieved if people could play nice together and join together on goals that benefit both their causes. Teaching people to play nice, though, might just be as hard of a goal as extending the lifespan of the earth… :)

      • Many years ago my then wife was starting a new job. I made her up a lunchbox, and told her ‘And play nicely with the other children.’ It’s about the best we can do.

      • Kozo Hattori says:

        Play nice together works in both analogies–gaming and social movements. We are after all role playing in real life as well. I recently heard about a movement called non-duality. Wonder if that would help? {{{Hugs}}} kozo

  6. I know the type of game you’re playing makes a huge difference in the education acquired, but there’s something you can learn from almost any game: patience. :)

  7. BrainRants says:

    You pose some good questions, Rara. I am not wise enough to answer them, but making religions (yeah, all of them) less about power and control would be a great start for the world. I try to approach people with an equal balance of respect-given and respect-earned, and let them alter the balance themselves. In other words, I assume they know what they’re talking about until they prove me wrong. Sometimes, they don’t!

    • rarasaur says:

      Removing power and control is part of freeing people from fear, so I get that. :) People need to feel comfortable sharing things about themselves, I think– and religion can (and often does) get in the way of that. If people don’t share, then others don’t know, and we’re back to an education problem. :)

      I like your method and I think I work very much the same way, though I never thought to put it in such understandable terms before. :D Isn’t it great when people turn out to be awesome?!

      • Kozo Hattori says:

        I think you might be tipping your hand on what the end goal may be, Rara. That is the second time you mentioned freeing people from fear. I like that end goal. I like that freeing from fear will allow everyone to be authentic which I believe will lead to self-actualization. I’m going to put “freeing people from fear” into my melting pot and see what comes out. {{{Hugs]}} Kozo

  8. djmatticus says:

    First things, first: YOSHI!!! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself, he’s my favorite.

    Brilliant idea… treating our goals of reclaiming humanity, of leading better lives, like we would approach winning a video game. I like it.

    My trick for seeing friends where there might otherwise be enemies is fairly straightforward – what they do is no concern of mine, we are all different, we all see the world differently, we all experience the world differently. If they want to do X, Y, Z with their life, I may not agree with that, but that’s their choice to make. If I sit and listen to their arguments perhaps I will understand why they made those choices a little better, that doesn’t mean I’ll agree with them, but I don’t have to agree with them. We don’t all have to think alike. We don’t all have to act alike. That’s the future we should be working towards – a world where all of our individual differences aren’t just tolerated, aren’t celebrated, just are… where it has become the norm for us to accept and interact with each other without caring or worrying about or heralding our different beliefs.

    If none of that made sense, I’m still blaming the cold meds. *sniff*

    • rarasaur says:

      Woot! Yosh! He’s everyone’s favorite… right? :)

      Also, I love this: “We don’t all have to think alike. We don’t all have to act alike. That’s the future we should be working towards – a world where all of our individual differences aren’t just tolerated, aren’t celebrated, just are… where it has become the norm for us to accept and interact with each other without caring or worrying about or heralding our different beliefs. ”

      This is probably closest to my mindset. I certainly don’t hate that I have an eclectic group of family/friends, but I don’t really celebrate our differences– I mostly focus on what we do with each other and the world. Sometimes I forget the differences or similarities are there at all, until someone mentions it. It definitely makes for an easier life, :D

      And… still sick? Bummer!!

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      I totally agree with Rara: The end of your penultimate paragraph hit the target. Equanimity of differences. Just let them be and move forward. You don’t see video game characters spending valuable time discussing/celebrating/criticizing differences. Great comment, Matt. Hope you feel better. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

      • djmatticus says:

        Thanks! Still fighting off this pesky cold unfortunately, especially since I get on a plane in 30 hours or so to fly to the east coast. That’ll be fun. Luckily the Queen and Little Prince are both feeling better. I take small victories where I can.

  9. djmatticus says:

    Reblogged this on thematticuskingdom and commented:

    Kozo has kicked up discussions on how we should/could re-claim humanity (http://everydaygurus.com/2013/10/11/re-claiming-humanity/). I was honored to offer my simple solution where we need to look to ourselves and make sure we are doing the good we want to see in others first (http://everydaygurus.com/2013/10/14/humanity-lost/) and now Rara has added her own spin on the discussion. It includes video games, pirates, and ghosts. Go check it out!

  10. Monkey Island! I loved that game!!!! Oh, uh, he rest of the article was awesome too. :D

    • rarasaur says:

      Haha! Me too! Dave JUST finished it for the first time ever recently. I guess he never even got to the island before because he’d get frustrated and stop, haha… it takes a certain type of brain to get through those types. :D

  11. NIKOtheOrb says:

    One of your best posts (and so appropriate over here on Everyday Gurus. I know Kozo would be proud!), Rara.

    I was just involved in a conversation about this very thing earlier today (yay for synchronicity! :-) ). We talked about the problems present in current society, but we also talked about what actions need to be taken in order to repair this problem. We know that the current models of operation do not work; they do not need to be reformed, we need new solutions, we need new models and new ways of thinking. Obviously, for too long the same models and ways of thinking have been in place and have led nowhere; in fact, only into deeper and deeper poverty, lack of access, alienation, conflict, mental illness, chronic illness, etc. There are small pockets of humans gathering together to try and build new models, which will eventually lead to the old models fading away. This is part of how we reclaim humanity.

    • rarasaur says:

      Yay for synchronicity! :) And, thank you– I wanted to write something pretty, and… did, in fact… but switched it the day up for a plan (however flawed) to change the way we look at things.

      You’re so right, we need to go back to the drawing board and look at the models. There’s a TED talk (www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_build_a_school_in_the_cloud.html) that starts with the premise that the very founding model of education is flawed. He doesn’t talk about it in a “blame” way– only that we created education to create identical people with identical sets of knowledge– and now that’s completely not the way of the world anymore. He’s not the first person to go on about that, but he’s offered a new model as a possibility.

      I feel like the same thoughts need to be applied to activism. We picket– but why? We raise money — for what? We push senators through– again, why? It’s all a lot of work and only reaches our local communities– when it gets across the world, it’s like we’re speaking a different language. And the whole thing feels like we’re playing for a single personal issue, instead of a better world.

      So, steps. First we figure out what we want. Then we make new models. Go team! :)

      • Kozo Hattori says:

        Rara and Niko, I am so honored to be in the presence of such wise and caring women. You are my heroes. Niko, yes a we need a paradigm shift. We need to create new ways of seeing, acting, and being that will spread throughout the world.
        Rara, you wrote two articles for the guest post? You are such a kind, intelligent, and giving person. Thank you so much. I love your action plan–figure out what we want, then make new models. Yay, Team Reclaim Humanity. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  12. I love that Guybrush Threepwood can inspire life lessons, haha! Great post. I try to approach interactions with others with the awareness that we are all a little bit broken and more fragile than we let on. A tiny bit of love and positivity can go a long way, and a tiny bit of hate and negativity can go even farther (in the other direction).

    • rarasaur says:

      Haha! I love Guybrush! :D That’s a beautiful mindset and so correct. It’s based in the concept that people have impact on each other, no matter what role they play– and that’s something I’d love for everyone in the world to learn. :)

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Janelle,
      Your practice of awareness and compassion for the brokenness of others is inspiring. Yes, a tiny bit of love and positivity can go a long way as can a tiny bit of hate and negativity. I just finished a meditation retreat in which we tried to eradicate all traces of aversion and craving because every tiny bit grows exponentially in our psyche and eventually comes out in our speech and actions.
      Thank you for this wise comment. {{{hugs}}} kozo

  13. Sun says:

    great post – as always, Rara. not into games, maybe old fashion board or card games once in awhile but what popped into mind on the big goal: Empathy. How can we make sure in our own lives we are living, breathing and pouring out empathy every day so this energy flows out from us and spreads wider and wider – hard task because naturally we tend to want/need to nurture self first. Lots of great points you raise here – thanks both to you, Kozo and supporters for world peace. ♥

  14. likeitiz says:

    Hello, Rara. Love your posts but I’m not into video games. I’m sure there are life skills to be learned from them. I’ll take your word for it. But, I can’t relate, no tater how hard I try. Sorry about that.

    Having said that, I’m all for world peace! How’s about you rattle the cage over at Congress? Duke it out with the dissenters and beat them to submission with your wit and ingenuity?

  15. BroadBlogs says:

    What a fun way to make the point.

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