In private, Augustus Cesar's last words on his deathbed --
"Have I played the part well? Then applaud as I exit."
You'll find the same theme in many of the greatest statesmen, artists, and inventors... treating life like a game or a part to be played, not as something to be overestimated in importance.
Shakespeare agrees --
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts...
It's a radically different approach than most people take, which is to treat their life as if it's of the most dire seriousness and consequence. Interesting to meditate on, eh?
There's a board game called Diplomacy. As far as boardgames go, it's one of the best. Was designed by a guy at Harvard in the 1950's, and it's been distributed and played nonstop at a high level ever since, including regular international tournaments.
I won't talk about the game too much - I haven't played it in 10 years, so I don't remember the exact details. The only things two you need to know - first, it's a game set during the start of World War I, with the seven powers of the day vying for control. Second, there is no luck involved. No cards, no dice, no randomness, no chance. Success or failure is all dependent on what other players do and negotiation - no luck, no chance, no randomness. It's a game that's played and won purely in a social way.
This article is because I found this rather amazing piece by Dr. Lewis Pulsipher analyzing how to play Diplomacy well. I learned a lot from it.
I'll let Doc Pulsipher take over now:
Ha!! I love daylight savings time!!! WooooooHooooooo! It's a sunny morning here in Nashville. I just played a really fun show at Loudhouse Coffee last night out in Greenbrier, TN. Good times, my friends. Good times. So, now, I go full steam ahead with my album release. This is truly a long time coming. I have SO MUCH WORK TO DO!!! I swear. As soon as I can afford it, I'm going to hire a personal assistant. On another note, I've been thinking a lot lately about the concept of "attention". I've come across numerous people in my life who seem to thrive on it. There are some who want attention constantly, and then there are others who want nothing to do with it. I think I'm somewhere in the middle. If I am out and about just doing normal things and hanging out with friends, I am generally pretty low-key and prefer it that way. But put me on a stage to PERFORM, and it's a whole other story. For the amount of time I get to play my music in front of an audience, that's my time to be an all-out badasss!!! When I step off the stage, it's back to low-key Gordon. I don't think it's healthy or practical to want attention all of the time but to each his/her own. I guess. The thing that concerns me is that constantly getting attention deprives other people of having the chance to shine. Everyone. Everyone should have a little spotlight on themselves once in a while. It validates and affirms you in ways that are truly cathartic and comforting. Constant attention-grabbing often translates into a lack of consideration for others. Sometimes, and I hate to say it, it can be a sign of immaturity. (I honestly don't like to use this "i" word because it has such a bad rap. I think a little immaturity is par for the course for anyone. It's part of life. Some people just are immature, and that's just how it is.) I love watching others bask in their own spotlight--especially if they worked hard and earned it. Every chance I get to lift someone else up, particularly if they deserve it, I most definitely do so. Attention is a delicious delicacy that should be shared by all. Everyone wins when everyone shares. Life is too precious not to. Have a flower. There's all kinds of stuff this week. You'll see . . . . -gordon