Win with Grace, Lose with Style, Play for fun…The rules of the store and The Elections… (Or, don’t listen to them, listen to me…)
I can’t believe I need to write this, but clearly I do. The election is about to happen, and regardless of the outcome, it’s important to know that not only have the people running acted in ways that we shouldn’t emulate, that honestly, if they’d been in the store, we would have had a little private chat about the rules.
(I actually work hard to keep politics out of the store….there are certain issues, particularly those with deeply held personal beliefs, that once you start engaging in, it becomes hard to see someone who disagrees with you as anything beyond someone who is “other”, and this is a place for treating each other with respect so we can have (gasp) fun with each other. I’m not going to change that policy now. I have my own preferences, but I won’t push them on anybody.)
- No Bad Language: This rule extends beyond just swearing, but to smack talk in general. Basically anything that is aimed at the purpose of making someone else feel uncomfortable, unwelcome or to attack their self-worth or self-confidence is just not ok. It doesn’t do anything besides make the other person like you less and poisons the ability to talk with each other and have fun. Sure we compete and do our best to win, but none of that requires or is benefited by being mean.
Given that, I do feel like I need to say something about one aspect of all of this. The idea of elections is to choose people, in the case of the legislators (the law makers) who will act on our behalf to make the laws that will allow us to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And in the case of the president, that person is the citizen that we choose to act on our behalf in making sure those laws are enforced, in being our face to the world, to act when disasters happen, and to protect us and those we feel need protecting on our behalf. They are both part of the check and balance of power on each other, come up with by our founding fathers who saw just what went wrong when all the power was in the hands of one person with the kings that ignored the will of the people, or with the will of the people when the passions of a moment turned them from people to the mob, as happened in France, who’s persecuted turned to persecutors, filling baskets with the remnants of their vengeance.
- No Roughhousing or unwanted physical contact: Not a place for grabbing, hitting or physically hurting other people. (And no, if another player says that they will pay to get you out of trouble if you go and hurt someone that is annoying them, you’ll both get kicked out.) Hurting someone, or encouraging someone else to hurt someone is utterly unacceptable.
The law makers are supposed to be our avatars….working together on our behalf, and the President should be the best of us, the person who we most trust to do the right thing when the clock is ticking and to lead and inspire us.
- Good sportsmanship: If you win or you lose, reach across the table, shake hands and say good game. Those who do will have fun every-time, not just when they win, and get a chance to learn and get better. Nobody wants to play or even be around someone who comes up with excuses why they didn’t win, particularly before the match even begins.
There has been behavior that has happened, over and over again in this campaign that, far from inspiring us and giving us things to aspire to, is so bad that if it happened in the store, I’d have to pull someone aside and have a quiet talk about treating each other with respect and trying to work things out. For my young players, who’ve done so well at bringing out the best in each other, at turning away from teasing, name-calling and bad sportsmanship, know that for many of us adults, we are also looking in disbelief at presidential candidates who act with the language of frustrated little kids.
In terms of our Senators and Congresspeople, if we just wanted to have you vote on party lines, not actually talk with each other about the merits of each law, we can do that. You guys can sit on the side, writing petitions, and we’ll vote from home. Or we can just send one of those pecking water bird toys that hits the same button over and over again.
There are a lot of things wrong with the system at this point. Hidden money making it so our representatives need to give access to those with bigger pockets, often over doing the right thing for those of us who elected them. Legislators living in such fear of being singled out and attacked by their own parties, that the idea of reaching out to the other side and talking things through puts them at real risk. Would any of us act that way? Do we want those who are acting for us doing that? (Here is an amazing video about what has happened over the last 50+ years in congress)
But what we have to do is remember that the system was set up by some pretty smart people, (people like us), who tried to figure out the best way to do things and to set up systems of checks and balances that would keep things stable while they were working, but allow for changes (amendments) if something was clearly not working the way that they intended. If you get frustrated, remember that, and then work to understand why and make things better.
And one final thing. Every one of you that comes to the store on a regular basis, behaves better then what we are seeing in front of us. So if that little voice inside says, “this isn’t a good person to try and be like”, pay attention to it. You’ve been part of creating a good an welcoming place at D20, so as far as I’m concerned. you are doing good so far.
P.S. For those of you who are voting, I won’t suggest who you vote for, but would ask one thing: None of this is as simplistic as it is portrayed. Don’t get stubborn in either direction because of what someone else tries to tell you to do. Take the time to really look at the candidates and decide who you want to represent and act for you for the next 4 years once all the ads are done and it is just working at the highest pressure, most intense job in the country, and who you would least like to see in that role. We’ve seen from previous elections that they are not all the same and who is there has real and lasting consequences for all of us. And go and vote….