1. When we were growing up, my family loved to play boardgames together. My favourite is Boggle. I was so good at it, that I usually challenge myself to get a bigger total than all the other players combined. I have my tactics and strategies to get there. You can ask the people who usually lose to me (my siblings) … hehehe.
2. But another game that we all loved is Monopoly. It takes hours to finish a game, but it has lessons that are very practical for life, I have realised.
3. My mom is very good at Monopoly. She almost always wins. But she doesn’t try very hard to win, she just does it calmly and naturally. I realise that the way she plays Monopoly is the way she lives her life as well.
4. These are some of the lessons she taught me:
i) Don’t hold your money in your hands all the time. Don’t be tightfisted about it. Put it somewhere safe, tucked under the board, or under a pillow, etc. Out of sight and out of mind, but somewhere safe.
ii) Don’t keep counting your money. There are some players, who keep counting all their dollar bills every single move they make. They are so focused on how much they have and worried to make sure that their money is still there and didn’t run off by itself. My mum told me don’t count money.
iii) Don’t try to kill off the others. Help them in their journey. Enjoy the game, and don’t worry about winning. Enjoy the journey.
iv) Celebrate small wins heartily. When you take a Chance card and win a beauty contest, celebrate! Laugh, clap, share your joy. People love happy winners, not Scrooge McDuck sulky winners. Win in a fashion that everybody loves to see you winning.
v) A winner can give away or lose all their money and properties, and still come back to win. A loser can try to hold on to all his money and properties desperately, but still lose everything in the end. It is the mindset that does everything for us. That is the ONE thing we need to protect and preserve.
vi) Understand that you’re not alone in the game. Everyone is playing the game as well. And everyone is looking at the board in a different angle. They see different things from where they are, but at the end of the day it’s still the same board.
5. We have all grown up and are so busy with our lives today. But I am happy to have and hold the memories of us playing board games together as a family. I hope that we can build the same memories with our children and impart our values to them as well in a healthy and nurturing way.
6. At the end of the day, the board is folded up and kept away. Then we will know what we truly have. All the money and hotels and houses will be taken away from us. All the metal bits that represented us as players in the game will be taken away from us. What we only have at the end of the day is the way we were and what we did for each other.