Learnings From Solitaire

By Dr Janki Santoke, The speaking tree, August 27th 2017

JANKI SANTOKE reminds us that life is like a card game of Solitaire that has to end

We can glean many lessons about life from a game of solitaire. Not every game can be won. Sometimes the odds are stacked against you.There is no way of knowing whether you will win the game you are playing, but you still play the game.You can apply yourself, think of strategies, you can always enjoy the game.You can play it as your best ‘losing’ game.There is joy in playing the game itself, not just in winning. A game of solitaire is a metaphor for life.Sometimes we can’t have the relationship or the job we want,or be successful in every venture, however, we can still try, as we may yet be able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. No one really knows how it will go,yet we continue to play the game and enjoy it. It’s important to let go gracefully if we lose.If one keeps thinking about losing, it can be excruciating. It is important to concentrate on playing the game to the best of one’s ability. The joy of playing the game is different from the joy of winning.There is fun in playing the game itself.The joy of winning is only for a few,but the joy of playing the game is for all. One can enhance one’s enjoyment by increasing one’s expertise in playing the game.We can do it by applying our intellect; learning from others; learning from our mistakes; and by being observant and thoughtful. Just as there are many games and many hands to be dealt with, there are many facets of life.

You are a winner in some and loser in some others. Enjoy the wins, weep the losses but move on.There is yet another game to be played.No one wins or loses all games, so, too, in life no one has everything.If destiny is the hand that is dealt, karma is the expertise with which it is played.Hence, karma can often wipe out destiny. Though not always. However, the satisfaction you derive out of the game is based on your expertise and not on the outcome. Our circumstances may not be entirely in our hands but our happiness is. There are certain rules to play by. As long as the game lasts, the rules last. You can use the rules to win your hand, but you can’t violate the rules.So, too, life has certain laws: inviolable and irrevocable. You can use these laws to play your game but cannot circumvent the laws.These laws give consequences to actions. Often we have to make the choices without having full information about a situation.The cards are hidden, yet we have to decide on a course of action. And having taken a particular course of action often we cannot retreat from it. It closes down certain options but opens up others. Even though we have choices,we can’t do everything we like; the more random the choices, the less the probability of winning.We need situational awareness. Decide moves on the basis of what is happening, not on what we would like to do, or what we have been taught to do.The law of the land is different in every game.No teacher, no guru can hold your hand. Finally, it is just us and our cards,we have to take the call and face the consequences; the win, the loss, the satisfaction, the joy or the lack thereof. It’s a game! It helps to remember that no matter what happens — the game eventually ends.