Game of Life
Chess, Bridge, Monopoly, Poker, Mahjong, etc. are indoor games we play mostly for recreation. Volleyball, soccer, basketball, tennis, badminton, etc. are outdoor games we play for fun and exercise. We also like to watch the professionals competing in games like football, basketball, baseball, etc. for exciting entertainment. All these games have something in common:
There are specific rules and instructions to follow,
There are scores to keep to show how the players are doing,
Two or more people can play,
During the game, there is drama of excitement and suspense, hope and despair, etc.,
At the end of the game, win or lose, people go home rejuvenated and looking forward to the next game.
Life is also a game because it has similar characteristics like the game we play.
Rules and Instructions
There are literally billions of living things on Earth with each living species having its own shape, size, and function. On the surface, it appears that each living thing is free to live a life wherever and however it wants. In reality, each living thing can only live in specific areas where its specific food sources can be found. In addition, it has to fend off competition from the others, usually within the same species, for the available food and mates. All these activities are under the control of the invisible rules and instructions. We, the human species, can live anywhere on Earth in temperature-controlled structures that can withstand the changing environmental conditions. Our accomplishments are not possible without the understanding of:
The physical laws that dictate what, why, and how thing can be (rules),
The mathematics, engineering, chemistry, biology, etc. defend the steps to make things work within those laws (instructions).
In the animal world, how well an animal is doing is measured by whether the animal has lived long to mate and reproduce; its primary mission in life. Since that is no longer our mission in life, how well we are doing is measured by how well we live our life. We started just like the other animals – no clothing, no shelter, and the need to hunt for food. Today, we live in planned community or metropolis. We work for a living in the office or factory. Due to over- population, having children for a person is no longer necessary for the survival of the human species. Each person’s journey through life is unique having to:
Overcome different obstacles and problems,
Enjoy different success and rewards,
Suffer different disappointments and rejections, etc.
How well a person is doing in life is measured by how well one is doing at work, among friends, and or in home.
In the animal world, it takes more than the 2 opposite sex of the member to ensure the long term survival of the species. Only when its population is able to attain a certain minimum size, diversity can take hold enabling the species to survive the disease epidemics, the sudden environmental changes, and the wild fluctuation in food supply. It is no different with us, the human species. Our cumulative diversity and efforts have enable us to grow and manufacture our own food, to erect structures to live and work in, to build machines to increase our work efficiency, and to understand how life works. Each person has unique but limited physical and mental capabilities. One needs the other people not only for the basic necessities of life but also for friendship, companionship, and showmanship. Most importantly, each person provides indispensible functions: doctor, engineer, scientist, musician, artist, manager, criminal, policeman, writer, singer, lawyer, politician, etc. that keep our 7000 years old civilization moving forward.
In the African savanna, the drama of life and death is played out in the open without rehearsal, tampering, and pretense. It is filled with scenes of cruelty, tenderness, playfulness, and hidden dangers. Animals come and go but the game of life will go on without the participants knowing what is going on. In the man-made world, the drama is more about life than death with the participants eagerly trying to find meaning and purpose to their existence. It is filled with scenes of love, grief, joy, disappointments, jealousy, and sacrifice. People come and go but the game will go on with each people thinking that one can bend the rules and choose the role. We have observed, studied, and documented the animal life. There are predators (lion), preys (zebra), builders (beaver), pollinators (bee), scavenger (ant), etc. Each animal species is doing its part to keep one another alive in a complex ego-system guided by the laws of Nature. In the ever growing population of the man-made world, there are doctors, educators, criminals, musicians, janitors, construction workers, scientists, etc. Each person is able to find one’s place in a complex social community regulated by the laws of Nature.
In life, every living thing’s existence has a purpose, everything that happens has a reason, and nothing will work without obeying the laws of Nature. In the game of life, no living thing can control how to play the game, what role to play in the game, and when the play time is over. At the end of a person’s life, one can be a winner or lose, saint or sinner, achiever or slacker, hero or villain, savior or killer, etc. Just like the game we play, each person live one’s life the only ways one is capable of by following the rules and instructions. The difference is that the game of life is the only game one will ever play.