Games People Play


“The worst part of my day is dealing with grown people. I don’t particularly like adults. They aren’t always very nice. If you work with children you know that there is no more powerful love than the love you feel from a child.”-Dr. Steve Perry, founder and principal of Capital Prep

Steve Perry is one of my professional heroes. As founder and principal of Capital Prep (where 100% of the students not only graduate but also go on to four year universities), he has proven that when you demand excellence, young people rise to the challenge. So, I take a lot of what he says seriously. The quote above caught my attention because it directly reflects experiences I have at work with both children and my personal experiences with some adults.

It seems like the older we get, the more interested we become in just reaching the goal and forgetting the joys that come with the process. I recently had two scenarios, one involving adults and one involving second graders. Needless to say, I enjoyed the experience with the little ones a lot more, primarily because they’re so much more genuine than most adults. We all play games. Children play them because they want to have fun. Adults play them because they want to manipulate power.

What happens to us as we age that makes us so power hungry and eager to compete even with people who are supposed to be on our team? What is this strong desire to be the alpha male or the alpha female in our adult lives that makes it okay to put down other people in the process? It really breaks my heart when people break from a team for their own selfish ambitions.

Redemption comes only when I see one of the kids I work with help a friend or classmate or when I see them share without me even having to ask them to do so. Times like that, it seems like they’re the ones who should be in charge, not the adults.

When and why do we become so selfish? And what do we do to stop it? It all just reinforces something that I’ve heard often: If you want to learn some of the best lessons, spend more time with people under the age of five.

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One Response to Games People Play

  1. Tip Fallon says:

    W – Excellent questions. What'd you study in undergrad, anyway? I feel like this touches on social pscy, or some kind of pscy, to which I have no formal answers, only more questions lol…Some guy once said, "To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism – it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason."Do you think that greed, the need for power, authority, and selfishness are similar flaws in mankind? And who would argue that these things are often "deleterious" to society? But on the real – would you say there's any viable solution, this side of changing the DNA of humans? Or would you say calling 'greed, violence, power-hungriness' being a flaw of human nature a cop out? Should people somehow rise above these natural instincts? I dunno… I think about this time to time … if we all had the means and environmental influence to be more compassionate, considerate, and open-minded, perhaps we'd be a step closer to a just and equitable society. But on the other hand, is a world where everyone is compassionate and unselfish even a world? Has that ever existed? If it'd be beneficial to all, why has it not existed? Maybe this is the best world… to have selfishness, and selfessness. Can you really have one without the other?Won't there always be haves and have-nots? And as the 'haves' are glorified by society – won't people be manipulative in their path to climb their figurative ladders, and to maintain their positions? Anyway – glad these thoughts are on your mind. I'm happy that someone out there is striving to figure out the answers and solutions and applying them to the lives of the future generation. Hats off 🙂

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