Life has often been compared to a game. We are never told the rules, unfortunately, nor given any instructions about how to play. We simply begin at "go" and make our way around the board, hoping we play it right. We don't exactly know the objective of playing, nor what it means to actually win.
-Cherie Carter-Scott, Ph.D.
Ever played Aggravation? The game is aptly named. You have four marbles to get around the board and into your home area where they are safe from the other players. You have to roll a certain number to even get out onto the board at which time you can send others back home by landing exactly on them. You have to roll a certain number to get your marbles lined up in the home slot. It can be very aggravating especially when you almost have a marble home free and some jerk/family member/former friend lands on you and you have to start all over. Of course, you can treat them to the same experience which has a certain amount of gratification.
Our parents taught us the rules. Parenting is probably the most important task we undertake and the task we undertake with the least preparation or qualifications. Some parents parent very poorly - they only know how they were parented. These parents can do irreparable damage. The damage can be very difficult to overcome. Children are victims. How sad. Discipline was used to vent anger rather than shape the child's behavior. We had a math teacher who never disciplined when he was angry. He waited a bit. I have never thought I could kill a person but child abuse would sure be the test.
Our game of aggravation (our lives) is played every day. We can start out on the right note and then stuff happens. We need to start over. We need to go out and come in again. We need to be sent back home and see if we can't do better. Some days things line up pretty well and things go according to plan - the eating, the water, the exercise. We do know the rules here. What does it mean to win? How will you know when all your marbles are lined up and safe from the others? What will it look like? How will it sound? How will it feel when your aggravation game gets finished?