Game of Life – The Rewards

game rewards
What are  the Rewards for Playing the Game of Life successfully?

In the preceding posts on the Rules and Play of the Game of Life, I explored how the rules of any game shape the playing of that game. Also, the play of a game determines the rewards possible. Seemingly simplistic, eh?

Actually the formula is Rules > Play > Reward , and changing any  of those three factors affects the others.

A fairly cool little game to play is to reverse the formula: Reward > Play > Rules . It runs something like this: “If I want reward X, I need to play Y, and that means Z is in effect…” A quick practical example: If I want ice cream, I need to pay some money, and that means I have to work. Simplistic, again, but I think you can see a few applications…

While I was researching ideas for this series of posts, I was playing the game Civilization IV. It’s an awesome simulation of the conditions and processes of civilization-building. It endeavors to model history, so, most of the normal play of the game involves politics, subjugation, and war.

I luckily discovered an option the designers provided called Always Peace.

Change the rules and you change the way you play the game and the rewards you can expect…

So, what rewards did I reap by playing Civilization in the mode that eliminated war and all its nasty offspring?

The first reward was realizing things I’d already learned intellectually in a hands-on, emotional way.

Next would be the awareness that building a prosperous civilization is very hard work even when war isn’t in the equation.

Then, the painful awareness of my citizens’ suffering from my mismanagement of the factors of growth.

And also the joy, even though it’s only  a game, when I’d managed things well and my people were fed and happy and productive.

There are many other rewards I gained but those four stand out like blazing stars in the dark of life’s struggles.

I need to mention another simulation game that has a multitude of practical applications—it was created as a training tool for nonviolent response to oppressive situations–A Force More Powerful.

So, here ends the tale of my playing life-imitating games. What about the Rewards gained from Playing the Real Game of Life?

Spiritual Quotes:

“The rewards of this life are the virtues and perfections which adorn the reality of man. For example, he was dark and becomes luminous, he was ignorant and becomes wise, he was neglectful and becomes vigilant, he was asleep and becomes awakened, he was dead and becomes living, he was blind and becomes a seer, he was deaf and becomes a hearer, he was earthly and becomes heavenly, he was material and becomes spiritual. Through these rewards he gains spiritual birth, and becomes a new creature.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha’i World Faith, p. 323

“As the usefulness and powers of the life (of a child) were not seen in that dark and narrow world (of the womb), but when it is brought into this vast world, all the use of its growth and development becometh manifest and obvious in it, so likewise, reward and punishment, paradise and hell, and the requital of deeds and actions done by it in the present life become manifest and evident when it is transferred to the world to come—which is far from this world! Had the life and growth of the child in the womb been confined to that condition, then the existence of the child in the womb would have proved utterly abortive and unintelligible; as would the life of this world, were its deeds, actions and their results not to appear in the world to come.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 644

“The sacrifices involved, the courage, faith, and perseverance…[a pioneering spiritual life] demands, are no doubt very great. Their value, however, can never be properly assessed at the present time, and the limitless reward which they who demonstrate them will receive can never be adequately depicted…. Such a reward, it should be noted, is not to be regarded as purely an abstract blessing confined to the future life, but also as a tangible benefit which such courage, faith and perseverance can alone confer in this material world.”
Shoghí Effendí Rabbání, The Advent of Divine Justice, pp. 67-68

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Peace ?

nonviolence
Peace?

When?

How?

Today, the spiritual quote will follow directly after the news clips, for reasons that will become very clear:

From the Chicago Tribune: Chicago schools, cops to curb student violence

From the Associated Press: Spain: Street violence after immigrant’s death

From the Guardian, UK: Sex, violence and classroom action

“There is nothing so heart-breaking and terrible as an outburst of human savagery!

“I charge you all that each one of you concentrate all the thoughts of your heart on love and unity. When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love. Thoughts of war bring destruction to all harmony, well-being, restfulness and content.

“Thoughts of love are constructive of brotherhood, peace, friendship, and happiness.

“When soldiers of the world draw their swords to kill, soldiers of God clasp each other’s hands! So may all the savagery of man disappear by the Mercy of God, working through the pure in heart and the sincere of soul. Do not think the peace of the world an ideal impossible to attain!

“Nothing is impossible to the Divine Benevolence of God.

“If you desire with all your heart, friendship with every race on earth, your thought, spiritual and positive, will spread; it will become the desire of others, growing stronger and stronger, until it reaches the minds of all men.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 29

“These principles for nonviolence were adapted by the Denver Area Task Force for: A Season for Nonviolence – January 30-April 4, 1998

“Inspired by the 50th & 30th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi
and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

1 — Today, I will reflect on what peace means to me.
2 — Today, I will look at opportunities to be a peacemaker.
3 — Today, I will practice nonviolence and respect for Mother Earth by making good use of her resources.
4 — Today, I will take time to admire and appreciate nature.
5 — Today, I will plant seeds–plants or constructive ideas.
6 — Today, I will hold a vision of plenty for all the world’s hungry and be open to guidance as to how I can help alleviate some of that hunger.
7 — Today, I will acknowledge every human being’s fundamental right to justice, equity, and equality.
8 — Today, I will appreciate the earth’s bounty and all of those who work to make my food available (i.e., grower, trucker, grocery clerk, cook, waitress, etc.)
9 — Today, I will work to understand and respect another culture.
10 — Today, I will oppose injustice, not people.
11 — Today, I will look beyond stereotypes and prejudices.
12 — Today, I will choose to be aware of what I talk about and I will refuse to gossip.
13 — Today, I will live in the present moment and release the past.
14 — Today, I will silently acknowledge all the leaders throughout the world.
15 — Today, I will speak with kindness, respect, and patience to every person that I talk with on the telephone.
16 — Today, I will affirm my value and worth with positive “self talk” and refuse to put myself down.
17 — Today, I will tell the truth and speak honestly from the heart.
18 — Today, I will cause a ripple effect of good by an act of kindness toward another.
19 — Today, I will choose to use my talents to serve others by volunteering a portion of my time.
20 — Today, I will say a blessing for greater understanding whenever I see evidence of crime, vandalism, or graffiti.
21 — Today, I will say “No” to ideas or actions that violate me or others.
22 — Today, I will turn off anything that portrays or supports violence whether on television, in the movies, or on the Internet.
23 — Today, I will greet this day–everyone and everything–with openness and acceptance as if I were encountering them for the first time.
24 — Today, I will drive with tolerance and patience.
25 — Today, I will constructively channel my anger, frustration, or jealousy into healthy physical activities (i.e., doing sit-ups, picking up trash, taking a walk, etc).
26 — Today, I will take time to appreciate the people who provide me with challenges in my life, especially those who make me angry or frustrated.
27 — Today, I will talk less and listen more.
28 — Today, I will notice the peacefulness in the world around me.
29 — Today, I will recognize that my actions directly affect others.
30 — Today, I will take time to tell a family member or friend how much they mean to me.
31 — Today, I will acknowledge and thank someone for acting kindly.
32 — Today, I will send a kind, anonymous message to someone.
33 — Today, I will identify something special in everyone I meet.
34 — Today, I will discuss ideas about nonviolence with a friend to gain new perspectives.
35 — Today, I will practice praise rather than criticism.
36 — Today, I will strive to learn from my mistakes.
37 — Today, I will tell at least one person they are special and important.
38 — Today, I will hold children tenderly in thought and/or action.
39 — Today, I will listen without defending and speak without judgment.
40 — Today, I will help someone in trouble.
41 — Today, I will listen with an open heart to at least one person.
42 — Today, I will treat the elderly I encounter with respect and dignity.
43 — Today, I will treat the children I encounter with respect and care, knowing that I serve as a model to them.
44 — Today, I will see my so-workers in a new light–with understanding and
compassion.
45 — Today, I will be open to other ways of thinking and acting that are different from my own.
46 — Today, I will think of at least three alternate ways I can handle a situation when confronted with conflict.
47 — Today, I will work to help others resolve differences.
48 — Today, I will express my feeling honestly and nonviolently with respect for myself and others.
49 — Today, I will sit down with my family for one meal.
50 — Today, I will set an example of a peacemaker by promoting nonviolent responses.
51 — Today, I will use no violent language.
52 — Today, I will pause for reflection.
53 — Today, I will hold no one hostage to the past, seeing each-as I see myself-as a work in process.
54 — Today, I will make a conscious effort to smile at someone whom I have held a grudge against in the past.
55 — Today, I will practice compassion and forgiveness by apologizing to someone whom I have hurt in the past.
56 — Today, I will reflect on whom I need to forgive and take at least one step in that direction.
57 — Today, I will forgive myself.
58 — Today, I will embrace the spiritual belief of my heart in my own personal and reflective way.
59 — Today, I will enlarge my capacity to embrace differences and appreciate the value of every human being.
60 — Today, I will be compassionate in my thoughts, words, and actions.
61 — Today, I will cultivate my moral strength and courage through education and creative nonviolent action.
62 — Today, I will practice compassion and forgiveness for myself and others.
63 — Today, I will use my talents to serve others as well as myself.
64 — Today, I will serve humanity by dedicating myself to a vision greater than myself.

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What Good Is The Military ?

military

The military has become part and parcel of life in our crisis-ridden world. Can we live without massive military investment?

From The Guardian: Time for a real review of defence spending

From the Zimbabwe Star: China rattled by Indian weapons buildup

From the Atlantic.Com: Military Resistance at the RNC “Footage of Iraq Veterans Against the War doing street theater in Denver during the Democratic National Convention”

“But wait, Alex. There’s so many bad people in the world. How can we defend ourselves without a strong military?”

Try this on for size: National Security Through Civilian-based Defense

Today’s Spiritual Quote:

“If a man slays another man, we brand him as a murderer and criminal and sentence him to capital punishment, but if he kills one hundred thousand men, he is a military genius, a great celebrity, a Napoleon idolized by his nation. If a man steals one dollar, he is called a thief and put into prison; if he rapes and pillages an innocent country by military invasion, he is crowned a hero. How ignorant is humankind! Ferocity does not belong to the kingdom of man. It is the province of man to confer life, not death. It behooves him to be the cause of human welfare, but inasmuch as he glories in the savagery of animalism, it is an evidence that divine civilization has not been established in human society.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 103

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What Are We Fighting For ?


From Yes! Magazine:

“The number of terrorist attacks throughout the world has increased steadily since 2003.”

The Iraq War began in 2003…

That article from Yes! Magazine also talks about more appropriate methods of dealing with international criminals.

There are even well-developed plans for completely non-violent defense of an entire country:

SELF-RELIANT DEFENSE: Without Bankruptcy or War
Download the .pdf

And, for your “everyday” attempts at nonviolence:

198 Methods of Nonviolent Action
Download the .pdf

Plus, here’s a spiritual quote to ponder:

“The darkness of superstitions and imitations came and took its place, binding the world of humanity in the chains and fetters of ignorance. Enmity arose among men, increasing to such an extent that nation strove against nation in hatred and violence. War has been a religious and political human heritage.

“Now it is enough! We must investigate reality. We must put away these superstitions. It is a self-evident truth that all humanity is the creation of God. All are His servants and under His protection. All are recipients of His bestowals. God is kind to all His servants. At most it is this: that some are ignorant; they must be educated in order that they may become intelligent. Some are immature as children; they must be aided and assisted in order that they may become mature. Some are sick and ailing; they must be healed. But the suffering patient must not be tested by false treatment. The child must not be warped and hindered in its development. The ignorant must not be restricted by censure and criticism. We must look for the real, true remedy.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 39

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