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Don't Hate The Player, Hate The Game....


viv

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... and, oh, how I hate the game.

 

If I were six or seven, you might 'let' me win, and if I was ten, I'd take my proverbial ball and go home. Around thirteen, I'd try to revise the rules in my favor, and at sixteen, I'd hold you to every literal word of them and use them against you. At some point, you realize that if you don't get caught, sometimes it can work out in your favor to do things the way you want to as long as no one gets hurt.

 

The laws are made for the lesser of our society... the idiots who need to be told to put their kid in a carseat or a seatbelt, to put a helmet on before they ride a motorcycle, not to take from other people, that it's not okay to punch someone. But it's not these laws or rules I'm talking about. It's the unwritten rules, the things that get left unsaid, but are expected, obvious.

 

So, here's the thing...

 

Why is it that the expectation for all of us, I'm even guilty of pushing my children into it, is that we all go to school, grow up, go to college, and miraculously end up with some great job we hopefully love? We ask them what they want to be when they grow up, and we laugh when it changes daily, and then when it stops changing, we're glad, like at least something is decided. Ready for the next step.

 

I have such a hard time swallowing the idea that I have to give, at the very least, four years of my life and tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, and play 'the game' so that I can emerge from the other side, allegedly educated, with a very expensive piece of paper in my hand that offers me no guarantees. The only guarantee is 'they' want you to have one. Sure, they put it in a snazzy cover for you, and hold a ceremony, complete with motivational speeches, shake your hand, and send you on your way, but that's it... no guarantees, You're on your own.

 

Now you're in debt, you can't make as much money starting out as I make now working in a grocery store for thirteen years doing mindless work and garnering amazing health benefits for my family, and you start the same competition over again. Isn't that what it always is? A competition. Intelligent and eager vs. participants who operate on a balance of expectations and laziness? Rich vs. poor? Who you know vs. what you know?

 

As a fairly intelligent person, I have always found fault with this 'system'. It's extremely frustrating and it makes me truly sad that there is some 'kid' out there whose daddy is rich and paid for the new computers in the library, or the auditorium at the private school he also pays for, and this kid doesn't know any different. He shows up every day, along with all the other kids in ties, as if that makes this better, whose parents pay for their spots, and at the end of it all, his dad is going to call his old 'friend' or his favorite professor from his alma mater and before you know it, this kid has a spot in the Ivy League and he doesn't even know what that means, what it could mean, what to do with it.

 

Meanwhile, across town...

 

There is a kid who goes through the public school system, collecting his free lunches along with his non-descript education, and even if he, like me, loved school, did well, had a great GPA, was involved in a variety of extra-curriculars, and passed his AP tests, is still struggling, hoping that he qualifies for some obscure scholarship that is going to help him pay for what is supposed to be next. He doesn't though, or maybe he does, but even so, he ends up at some JC, sitting next to every other less motivated, less intelligent kid still living at home, getting his half-credit experience and education for a third or fourth of the price.

 

Either way, what happens after that ceremony, complete with the handshakes and speeches is the same. They write their resumes, they email, one from his macbook in his bedroom which is as big as the other kid's whole apartment, and the other from the public library with the free internet. Then Mr. Corporate Guy is looking through this stack of applicants and, gee, how ever will he choose between Ivy League Kid and Junior College Graduate?

 

The stigma, the discrimination doesn't stop, not even after you play the game... so why even play?

 

What happens if you don't play? Can't play? What happens when you're 32 and you still don't know what you want to be when you grow up? I suppose that's not actually an accurate statement. I do know a few things I'd love to do. I guess the better question is... what happens if what you want to be doesn't require some degree, your participation in 'the game'? What if what you want to be actually is based on merit and talent and you get what you should?

 

That's a whole different game, I guess, but I'm much more willing to play that one.

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I found this and had to comment, it echoes my life? sentiments? ideals? so well.

 

I say, f**k the game-any game. And it's not that you shouldn't play, it's that you shouldn't even go in the store to buy the damn thing in the first place.

 

Of course, that's easier said than done; half the time I'm running back to the safety and comfort of what I think I know (i.e. what I've been conditioned to believe). No, it's not easy, but I have to look around me and believe that the alternative (i.e. The Plan) is just not worth it.

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is congrats and good luck. Because someday, with enough of us out there, maybe we'll look around and realize not only have we changed the rules, but we've picked up a different pack of cards. :D

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