The game of life

October 30, 2016
The game of life

“I have success you know, I am winning the game of life”. Among my boyfriend’s friends, it has become a running gag, a way to tease each other, to laugh about one’s misfortune, another’s luck. The thing is that, even though the guys are joking around, deep down, I truly believe I have won at the game of life, if there is of course any game to win. I do not believe we can really lose at it, but I still feel I have won the life lottery.

I am warning you: the next part is very cheesy. This is the part where I am telling you that I firmly believe I am one of the luckiest women in the world, so if you want to keep on ruminating about how life sucks, you can skip this paragraph. Because really, I just cannot not mention how lucky and grateful I am to be surrounded by amazing people. I feel so much joy and love inside that I can’t hold it anymore. I have a fantastic family, which I adore, that has supported me through many many ups and downs, for which I am even more grateful. They are the best. I am not only talking about my close family here: my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, my cousins, they are all as fun and as lovely as my immediate family. So you get the picture. On top of that, I have been lucky enough to meet with the most wonderful boyfriend after only three dates on a not-as-wonderful online dating website. Three dates. Can you imagine that? Some people spend years online, and in less than one week, I found the best bidis’ dad ever , the man I love with whom I want to spend the rest of my life with, who takes long walks with me, who prepares me amazing vegetarian spaghetti sauce and who recently started practicing yoga. As if I could ask for more. My job is also quite amazing: I get to work with very kind people (kindness is super important, it is unfortunately too many times underrated), I do stuff I enjoy a lot, and since the beginning of the week, I even have the luxury of having a permanent position in the public function, which is a real permanent position, with a lifetime job if I decide to stay, unlike some others. Who in 2016 still have that amazing job security? That great job also gives me enough flexibility to go to school, to keep on learning about people, human relations, and management, surrounded by motivated students and expert teachers. I get to fit all that into my schedule because I am in excellent physical condition. Damn. I don’t even get a cold, it’s as if it refuses to stick with me. And last but not least, I was born with a positive affect, the kind that makes you wake up in the morning and jump out of bed with a smile on your face.

See? I told you it would be a very sunshine-ay part, full of stereotypes about love and happiness and joy. Are you mad/jealous/disgusted? You were aware in advance.

So here comes the dark side, if there is any. All this joy and happiness make me doubt. Why me? As if we had learned somewhere that the no pain, no gain myth was true, and that to deserve all that happiness, we also had to have suffered at some point. I don’t buy it. However, I also don’t believe that we were born all equal, that we all start at the same departure line in the game of life. As if some of us already had a step ahead, as if some of us had not waited patiently for the gun shot to start the race. There seem to be also those born life “athletes”, who win it all. Sometimes, it can be related to stuff as stupid as being cute or not. In its book « Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? » (love that title), Timothy Caulfield confirms what common sense tells us: beautiful people have more success. Studies have shown that attractive people make more money at work. Something as trivial as your hair color seems to play in your advantage. Blondes have more fun as they say, and it proved to be right since a study made with a sample of 12 000 blondes in the United States demonstrated that blondes would benefit from a “blonde prime” on their salary, equivalent to a full year of post-secondary education. Blondes were also found to be married to richer men than the brunettes or the red hair friends. The advantage beautiful people have on their homelier counterparts doesn’t stop there. They have more power, better education, and report to be also significantly happier and satisfied. They are perceived to be better teachers, more moral by their peers, and even more intelligent. In fact, they are, on average, smarter, if you believe in measuring intelligence with IQ.

Maybe I was wrong after all. Maybe we can indeed win the game of life. Maybe my own luck in life can be linked to my natural blonde and curly locks? Who cares. The thing is that from the moment we recognize that we are lucky, we can begin to share. If you win the jackpot at the lottery, do give some of your millions. I promise, it will not make you any less happier. In fact, your happiness will only be multiplied. As North Americans, born in Quebec, Canada, I believe we all start with one step ahead, even if we are not part of those beautiful people who succeed at everything. Most of us have a roof over our heads, clothes on our bodies, good food on our plates. I am not even talking about those who like me are lucky enough to live in a beautiful neighborhood, chill with the Mile End hipsters, enjoy too many St-Viateur (or Fairmount if you prefer) bagels , practice yoga in lululemon Wunder Unders at Wanderlust (where yoga rocks) and go for brunch at Aux Vivres  on Sundays. You and I, we are damn lucky. I feel like we could share a bit of our happiness with those who struggle, those who got a bit less sunshine in their heart. Don’t worry: it’s not just about money. You can donate some of your time, some of your blood (give blood. give life. if I may insist.), if you feel courageous. You can share your smile with passersby, your joie-de-vivre with strangers. Because if life is a game, than it is certainly not a zero-sum one. Without having to play Robin Hood, without having to take anything from somebody to give it to someone else, we can all somehow win the game of life. Will you dare to share, so that we can all be winners?

“Once the game is over, the King and the pawn go back in the same box.” — Italian proverb

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