I think life is like a giant chess game. Not a tournament, but a single game, with only one chance to screw it up. There are those who hold differing views on life, of course. Reincarnation types believe that our performance in the current game determines our status in the next. So if I'm a Knight now and I treat elderly people with disdain and steal candy from children, I might very well end up as a Pawn in the next. Using this view, one would have to wonder what jerks are thinking. Don't they realize that in their next life they're liable to reappear as...a weevil, a lab rat, or if they're really bad, a Congressman?
The thing is, none of us have any choice in the matter. We must play the game, whether we like chess or not, whether we're having fun or not. "Your move," says Life and we sit at the board, puzzling over our many options, hoping to find that one brilliant move that will simultaneously destroy Life's Queen and put his King in check. From then on, as long we don't try to be stupid, it would be an easy romp to checkmate.
Most of us never find that move, however, because Life is really, really good at chess and has had a billion years to perfect its game. We, on the other hand, only get one shot at it and are given no instructions, with the exception of what our parents are able to pass along.
"Beware the Bishop," The Fathers say. "You'll think you have everything under control and then...hey, I'm outta beer."
"Clean your room," say the Mothers.
Uh, yeah...we only get one shot at it and are given no instructions.
Reincarnation would be a much fairer system, given the circumstances. Who could possibly expect people to get Life right on the first try? Especially considering that we generally don't realize the stakes until well into the game. And then you have the people who just don't seem to care. Jerks, if you will.
Jerks are people who seem to be trying to get to the bottom of the Life totem pole. "I can't wait to be dung!" they say, gleefully smashing Hallowe'en pumpkins and knocking down freshly-built snowmen. What their motivation can be, I haven't a clue. Reincarnation or not, no good can come of their behavior. My question is this: do these jerks come back with the same personalities? In one life, Frank is just a jerk and in the next, a really obnoxious badger. "Mom! That badger just stole my Chiclets!"
From somewhere above the fray, the gods look on and shake their heads. "Frank, Frank, Frank...when will you learn?" They run a few calculations and look at each other sadly. "Definitely dung," they say in unison.
For me, I'm still looking for that one brilliant move. Or, at least, one that keeps me in the game without losing any pieces. Ultimately, however, we're all in the game together and can affect the outcome of a neighbor's chess match. So while we're on the subject, might I suggest Rook to F5?