When I was in elementary school back in the late 70’s/early 80’s, we had this cool box painted on the playground–cut into four separate squares. Although the squares were equal in size and shape, they were not equal in stature. If you occupied the first square (upper left corner), you were the cool person that got to dictate the way the game was played. If you were in square four, you were low person on the totem pole and had to scrape and claw your way back to the top. Your only hope was for someone in a better square to fail so you could move up, like the Jeffersons did when they moved to the East Side.
Life is a lot like four square. Sometimes I feel like I have occupied each of the four squares as an adult. I’ve been the top gun in square one, strutting around like I was an A-list celebrity. And I have been in square four as well, when I seemingly had to look up to tie my shoelaces. Square two is an interesting place to be. You are better than half of the game, but not quite where you hope to be. Isn’t it sad how we lose the childhood innocence of a simple and fun game we played as kids?
Life should be more like hopscotch. Everyone starts at the beginning with a common goal. You start hopping and scotching through the boxes. Sometimes you land on one foot, trying hard to keep your balance and other times the hopscotch board allows you the opportunity to relax and land with both feet on the ground. Once you complete your task, you go back to the beginning and try again, only this time you go a little faster, with a lot more confidence. The objective in hopscotch is to use the physical and mental attributes you bring to the table and complete the game to the best of your ability. If you fail, you just try again (or go jump rope or something…)
Society should be more like hopscotch and less concerned about getting to the best square. Sometimes the square you are in is where life wants you at that particular time. And that’s ok, if you make the most of it.
Throughout history, humans have sought out greener grass. Better jobs, newer cars, higher yielding stocks and even better mates than the one they have. What we fail to realize is that there are people out there who have so little to live for and not a dollar to their name who would kill for a moment in our shoes. If people could just stay true to who they are and not worry so much about being something they aren’t or can never be. Now more than ever, people seem to be patently unhappy.
Trying to be something you aren’t is like Tevye trying to pass as Santa Claus. Sure, he can fill out the suit and he has a beard, but when it comes time to say “Ho, Ho, Ho” and pass out the toys to the Nice-list kiddies, he’s exposed. Tevye has a life of his own and it’s a damn good life. He should be happy with that and let Santa do what he does best.
The reason I’ll take hopscotch over four square any day–It has a beginning and an end. And you keep moving forward with each leap. People need to figure out the importance of that for themselves. If everyone did, the world would be a much happier place.