This week as part of our unschooling, we played Monopoly. Sadly, we do not have the paper money edition, but the new Electronic Monopoly (sad because I couldn’t make Dietrich count the money). However, Dietrich still had to read and add so some basic principles were part of our play. Dietrich also learned some life lessons during the game. We’ve played twice now. The first time, he won – by completely crushing me. The second time, he lost in the same way. Dietrich does not like losing. As I listened to his tantrum (stomping around upstairs in his room, periodically screaming something about “I hate to lose!”), I pondered more life lessons from Monopoly.
Monopoly has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My older cousin and I would team up against all the other cousins to win in a merciless fashion. When I was a little older, my immediate family did a New Year’s Eve Monopoly tournament.
For this week’s Seven Quick Takes, here are seven life lessons from Monopoly:
- Sometimes, it takes a while to get started. In the non-electronic version, this would include the money counting. In terms of gameplay, it often takes a while to get around the board once, let alone enough times to buy all the property so the fun part can begin. In our first game, I spent every few turns landing in Jail. In the game, it’s hard to build wealth from Jail no matter what the movies tell you.
- Sometimes, you land where you do not want to be (like Jail, 25 times). In games, Lady Luck rules.
In real life, I don’t believe in luck, but even so, there are times I’ve found
myself in a place or situation I didn’t like.
- Other times, you land on your feet in just the right place, right on time (like Jail, when your opponent has all the property and houses or hotels on everything and you have $3). In real life, I believe in Providence more than coincidence.
- Evolution changes the specifics of the game, without really compromising gameplay. I am partial to the original names rather than the many movie and character editions. I don’t believe in the Theory of Evolution (as in we all came from monkeys who formed over millions of years from amoebas). I do believe that we adapt over time, changing to meet specific needs, sometimes even altering the genetic code. In my research for part of this post, I learned the original Monopoly board was actually ROUND! I may need to take a road trip to this museum.
- On the old Monopoly board, before they changed everything to Millions, the income tax square said “$200 or 10%.” Imagine my surprise when inputting our W-2’s and 1099’s into Turbo Tax to discover that the taxes on my income worked out to roughly 10%! Good thing we paid too much elsewhere.
- While much of the game depends on the roll of the dice, a certain amount of strategy can turn any player from a pauper to a prince. In the real world, life skills and coping strategies make all the difference in how we handle our circumstances. Do we look at challenges as a defeat or an opportunity? Do we wallow in despair or take action in times of adversity?
- Wealth and possessions are temporary. Easy come easy go. You win some, you lose some. Pick a cliché. Each says the same thing, reiterating the importance of storing our treasure in heaven, not in earthly gain.