I know that there has been a lot of change in the world in a very short period of time. I know that many of you, dear readers, are weary of the constant barrage of political content from writers, friends, and family. Rest assured, I will be keeping the political content (and my own personal views on such) to a minimum in this piece, because that isn’t really what I want to talk about.
For those of you who know me personally, you’ll know that I’ve had my own upheavals lately. A few weeks ago, a family member of mine died, and my wife and I traveled to Toronto, Canada for the funeral. Now, this family member and I were not particularly close, having only met a handful of times in my life. However, this was the first funeral of a family member that I had ever been able to attend, so suffice to say, it was an emotional period for me, to say the least.
Now in the days that followed, I got to spend some real quality time with family- many of whom I often go many years without seeing. And that was fantastic. But then, the last night that we were there was November 8th. The big night. The Election. Now luckily, many (if not all) present were of similar political mindsets, so the friction between different ideologies was at a minimum. But just try to picture it: a large group of Canadians, a few Brits, and a couple of Americans, all clustered around the television, watching the coverage for hours on end (and in the typical style of my family, accompanied by copious amounts of alcohol.)
It was late in the evening that I took a look around the room and noticed more than a couple weary expressions. Many of us were worried- frightened for friends, loved ones, and members of our communities and the difficulties and dangers that they would soon have to face in this new age. And in that moment, I knew just what to do. I went to my bag in the hall and pulled out a distraction in the form of a black box filled with rude, irreverent cards. For those that needed a break, we adjourned to the kitchen table and lost ourselves for a brief, brilliant moment. For the span of just one game, we didn’t have to think about our fears, didn’t have to think about the terrors that may lurk on the horizon, didn’t have to wring our hands with worry. Instead, we poured a few more drinks and laughed, laughed at the absurdity of the game in front of us. I know that many of you, dear readers, have a great dislike for this game. But honestly, that night, the game itself didn’t matter. It just needed to be easy to learn, lighthearted, and distracting. Don’t mistake my message. I’m not saying anything about the quality of this game itself- what I’m trying to point out is the importance of gaming as a whole.
Now, dear reader, do not mistake my message of this piece. I believe that we should all be vigilant, all be allies, all stand for those who have the most to lose in this new world. However, we should not feel guilty for needing an occasional break from the struggle and the worry. And this is why I love games. We sat there at that table and suddenly, for a brief moment, nothing else mattered. It was just us laughing and enjoying each other’s company, oblivious to the world’s worries around us. And I know that the ability to do that comes with a certain measure of privilege, and I admit that. But it is only by taking the time to recharge, to enjoy the company and laughter of loved ones, that we can be at our best when a true fight presents itself. So definitely stay vigilant, dear readers- stand up for those who need assistance. Be an ally. But just know that you can’t help anyone in this world if you can’t take some time to help yourself. I hope all of you out there are safe and loved. My next post won’t be so heavy, I promise.