I have this game I play. It is a simple game, but deceptively challenging. I frequently make the drive from Danbury, WI to Webster, WI to have coffee at my favorite north woods shop. I have been doing this for three years and have made this trip possibly a hundred times. Here is the game – I try to make it from Danbury to Webster without being passed.
To appreciate this challenge you need to consider some of the factors that are involved. These two towns are about 7 miles apart. This is not a heavily populated area and many times I see only 3-4 cars moving in either direction. This is a two lane highway with one passing passing lane about half way for maybe half a mile – slow traffic please move to the right.
What makes the game so exciting is that I never win. Today, victory was finally mine – another life milestone achieved. I thought I was going to make it a couple of weeks ago, but then a car entered from a side road. I did not see the car coming so I could not slow down and allow it to enter before I passed the entry point (this is allowed in the game) and I was passed just a couple of miles short of the goal.
You might suggest I invest in a faster vehicle. I suppose. I like to drive a truck up here so I kind of fit in. However, my Ford Ranger is likely the wimpiest truck in the county and something with more horsepower might improve my odds.
My disadvantage in this game is that by my rules I must drive the speed limit. I can accelerate as forcefully as I want, but I am not allowed to exceed 55. There is something about this combination of factors that makes it so exciting. In theory, I should never lose, but I never win. I keep trying because I find the challenge so exciting.
According to my scholar friends who study games, these experiences can teach us much. If I accept this position, I must now attempt to surmise just what I am learning. Losing when you do the right thing cannot be the lesson. I am thinking I have learned that “the journey is its own reward”. You do not have to win to enjoy the ride.
Think about that. One more life lesson from your friend – the curmudgeon.