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The Rules of the Game

April 22, 2018

When learning how to play a game for the first time, we are taught the “rules,” generally speaking, by one who has already had experience playing the game. Most of the time the game is learned “on the fly” or as it arises. “We will explain that later,” the tutor might say, anxiously wanting to get on with the game. The tutors themselves may not necessarily be experts and may only have played the game once or twice, yet in their enthusiasm we trust.

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All is well until a dispute arises when playing the game with somebody who may have learned about the rules of the game from still other players, maybe even experts or the very least, one who has actually read the rules! This is the time that the rule book is usually pulled out to reference and a discussion begins on how to proceed. A game cannot be played with players playing by different rules (unless you are a politician…but that's another subject).

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Do we play by the book? Playing by the book is usually how the pros play, such as in professional sports teams. They also utilize referees or judges, ensuring fair play and penalizing cheaters.

Do we change or make up our own rules? Rule changes may sound like an oxymoron or a paradox, such as the adage “the only constant is change.” However, this too is an option, as long as the rules are agreed upon before the game begins. Even professional sports leagues occasionally make changes to their rules at the end or beginning of a season.

Do we go our separate ways unable to play together?  Parting ways because of the failure to reach an agreement is always an option. Playing a game and constantly arguing about the rules is not fun so WHY play a game if it’s not fun?

These are all very good and valid questions.

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The game of life has many rules and regulations that have been passed on from generation to generation. Some still function and others need to be updated or eliminated. Our challenge is to try them and put them to the test and see if they are working as intended in order to win our confidence and gain the prize.

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”  Pablo Picasso

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