First, I have to confess, I love kid movies. If you know me, you know that my favorite movie of all time is a kid’s movie (points to you if you know what it is!). I don’t even need a kid as a justification to watch them with me...and a bonus when I am the only adult in my household means I get to pick the channel on at least one of the televisions, much to the chagrin of my teenagers!
Last night I got to watch Wreck-It Ralph (yes, I should have been doing something more productive, I am sure). I loved the lesson in this movie. The main point was that everyone has an “important” role – even the “bad guy”; when Ralph felt unloved and underappreciated, he left his “game” to earn a medal so he could raise his status with his co-workers. This left his game without a key component, and no one could play it. The game got tagged as being OUT OF ORDER and was destined for permanent UNPLUGGING.
Meanwhile, Ralph got to experience what it was like to be involved in other Games. He discovered that the grass is not always greener – a trite and sometimes tired expression that people overlook but that needs to be considered more carefully. He also learned that he had a lot to offer and that his strengths can bring value to a lot of different situations. In other words, it was up to Ralph to find the balance in his life that he needed to be happy. Should he stay in a different game, and use his strengths there to enhance the gamer’s experience, even if it meant that his original game would no longer exist? Or should he go back to his original game and play his role the best that he can and make personal choices that improve his well being and happiness and use his newfound confidence to improve the game?
I think we often get caught up in our own “game” and forget to acknowledge the others that play a key role in making that game even possible. We also get entrenched in our processes and roles and sometimes forget that we both have and add value. We can even find ourselves, like Ralph, letting the mis-valuation that others place on us define who we are and how we live our lives and think that we are trapped with no way to improve our circumstances.
True living is about taking action - learning what works, what makes us happy, what pushes us forward and what does not, making corrections, and trying again. Maybe even about wrecking things so we can fix them to be better than before. The point is that you don’t have to abandon your current game to change it, improve it, or even re-invent it. And you can probably set it up so you can visit other games now and again to give you new ideas and energize your current one.