What’s the Game?

By Jim Selman | Bio


The early Boomer retirees are rewriting the book of what ‘freedom from having to earn a living’ means. Of course, there is the rush to enjoy some of the perks of our new-found freedom. But once the lustre of all that unscheduled time wears off, we’re faced with the realization that retirement can also mean the freedom to take on those issues we either didn’t have time for when we were younger or were afraid to risk what we had going at the time for. But for most, this freedom means the opportunity to learn, to engage in some form of creativity and to step up to the challenge and opportunity of ‘Eldering’—being of service to the community and to those that follow, using our life experience and wisdom for the betterment of our world.
 
And the best part is that, as we age, we discover we don’t need to take ourselves seriously. We know that who we are and what we are committed to speaks a lot louder than our resume, our degrees, fame and recognition or the scalps in our belt. We can at last relax and accept others and ourselves—with compassion and a little chuckle at how earnest we were and how significant we made so many things that in retrospect are just obvious.
 
I have come to appreciate that life (and everything we do in our lives) can be viewed as being a game. A game is an activity that has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It also has a point—something must be more important than something else. Of course, games always have rules, even games that proclaim there are no rules. Games have to have winners and losers, although winning doesn’t occur at the expense of other people and losing doesn’t necessarily mean ‘defeat’.
 
If we look at life as a game, then we can be responsible for the game we are playing. And we can take responsibility for whatever we need to learn or master to win on our terms.
 
These days, I am playing the game of ‘growing older’. And as far as I can tell, everyone is playing the same game. The objective: get the most love, health, happiness and freedom of self-expression as I can while making sure everyone else has more fun than me. The main rule is I must choose—either resist or surrender.
 
In this game, the more I surrender, the more of the good stuff comes to me. Fernando Flores, one of my teachers and a philosopher and technology visionary, once gave a speech about "What is a computer?" and declared it to be a “universal machine for playing games”. It’s exciting and fun to be participating in how this medium might not only help me win the game I am playing, but also transform the game itself for everyone.

© 2009 Jim Selman. All rights reserved.

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