When my daughter was around four, someone gave us Old Maid. This was a card game I’d hated playing with my brothers as a child (HA HA you lose, you loser!) but unfortunately this was something Tara loved even though neither of us felt that great playing it. Reason: if I won, she was a bit downcast; if she won—even though I didn’t care—her empathetic nature would make her sigh and say, “It’s ok, Mommia, maybe you’ll win next time.”
If you don’t know the rules of the game, you take turns drawing a card from the other’s hand, laying down pairs and the one left holding the Old Maid loses. A seriously pathetic patriarchal projection, IMO, to infer that a woman would “lose” by deciding to remain unmarried. Spinster-schminster! And, BTW, what’s wrong with cats, birds and knitting ? (see image above)
One day, I suggested we modify the game so winning equaled acquiring the Old Maid and change the game’s name from the pejorative Old Maid to Ancient Witch.
And that’s all it took to make it fun! If I won, Tara could be happy for me; there was fine rejoicing and dancing when she won. It was an actual win/win.
Two lessons can be drawn here. The first is the oft discussed Buddhist thought that in order to change the world you have to change how you see the world. Straight forward and accurate.
Second: that altered vision could be to transform the divisive right/wrong, win/lose, good/bad paradigms into remembering that if one “wins” we all win. And the inverse is true, too, maybe not immediately but ultimately. It’s not about being independent vs. dependent.
Third answer: interdependent. As the bumper-sticker says: Everyone does better when everyone does better. Change is certain but—unfortunately with humans—inner growth is voluntary.
The time is here to think smarter, see deeper, act accordingly.