The 2016 US presidential election was a display of sheer, unbridled competition. Huge stakes. Two sides, far apart. Winning was indeed everything. Losing sucked. But winning carried its own burden: winner’s disease—that schadenfreude that blinds one to the pain his own triumph causes other people. That’s not that good for the soul, and it’s not good practice for getting along with others.
Where do we go from here, now that the contest of the ages has come and gone and left us battered and polarized? That’s a rather huge question with a zillion serious answers. We’ll save that important discussion to those forums where we can intellectually engage.
Meanwhile I am here to suggest that one possible means of emotional recovery from the effects of the heightened competition we have been through is to play a cooperative game. Especially if you find yourself on opposite sides of the issue with those you love, consider playing a game where you are all on the same team. Before you know it, you’ll like each other again! It’s also good to play a cooperative game with your peeps, those you agree with, just coz we all need a taste of the peaceful and secure joy that comes from having fun together without the need to prove oneself smarter, luckier, or better than anyone else. Enough with the competition already!
Here is a game that is very physical but good for mixed ages.
For other free (and freeing!) cooperative games, check the Fun and Free section of CooperativeGames.com. https://cooperativegames.com/fun-free/ Or visit my store CooperativeGames.com for a curated collection of the best cooperative games, toys for cooperative play, board games and books. https://cooperativegames.com/
Tug of Peace
Participants group themselves around a rope that has been tied in a knot—so the rope forms a circle. Players squat down around the rope, holding the rope with both hands. At the count of three, all players lean back and–using the energy of the group–they stand up. When everyone has stood up (and cheered), players can, on the count of three again, carefully lean back into a squat. In this game, the counterbalance support that players provide to one another is a graphic representation of mutual support and cooperation. It’s a different experience than traditional Tug-of-War, since everyone wins by working together.