Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hide and go seek life

I remember, on occasion, an incident when I was young, sleeping-over at my girlfriend's house. We had decided to play Truth or Dare, and I, having nothing interesting to report, chose dare. I was instructed to borrow ice cubes from a neighbor, who turned out to be a young girl close to our age, who handed me some with a minimum of fuss or odd glances. When I returned to triumphantly throw them in my drink, my compatriots wailed that I had 'done it wrong' by revealing to the unwitting neighbor that I was under duress, in the form of a dare. This, of course, made no sense to me; the confession had made the whole affair easier, and I didn't poke fun at a neighbors ignorance, taking advantage of the innate hilarity of others confusion. This caused my girlfriends to pout, and declare we should play another game, since I had obviously ruined this one, by my insistence that I had done nothing wrong.

In retrospect, I suppose it was not really entering into the 'spirit of the game', since without ulterior explanation she would assume that there was 'something wrong' with me, in the finest tradition of the fundamental attribution error, this result being the intention of the game truth or dare. But the feeling that someone, somewhere, thinks I am a lunatic, without a cause I have wholeheartedly embraced, is one I have never been able to come to peace with. Sometimes I wonder if, since the concept of who a person really consists of, is shrouded and subjective, that it may be also defined by what other people think. Certainly the primary energy left behind by an individual when they depart this world, is encapsulated within others memories. The difference between a fond, correct remembrance, and an unflattering, false one is invalidated when the potential to correct the unflattering one is erased by the removal of the original subject.

Whether one believes the opinions of others matter when 'evaluating' self-worth, is negotiable, but the dynamic at work between the girl's and their beliefs of the 'spirit of the game' is undeniable. It seems, in life, especially in relationships that too many times we try to play 'a game', where the rules are not defined, other than by sheer subjective speculation. We cannot let others win, so we hide, we equivocate, and scheme. When a goal is identified, we will strive, and endeavor, through any means, to achieve it, and then look down on others who refuse to play the way we play, because it does not validate and justify our actions, and we begin to wonder and guess, if there is a better way to play, which perhaps could achieve more. The games we play in childhood just teach us the steps required to play the bigger games in adulthood, to deny ourselves, tease ourselves, even misinform ourselves. We live in a world of self-delusion, and it is all set in motion so others can dance to the steps that everyone knows, in a huge coordinated two step of activity. When someone begins to waltz, there is chaos as things become disorderly. Our society is increasing becoming obsessed with the streamlined, the efficient, the ordered. And this obsession drives out creativity and seeks to squash novelty. But whether it is good or bad, is again, subjective.