Life is a Contest. You can't Win if You Don't Play

I am no trained Sociologist, but I do from time to time look at the question of Nature vs Nurture as I think about the differences between men and women and the differences between men and their fellow contestants.  The reason I use the term contestants is that most of my life I have been playing games.  From Tag to War, I have played in all sorts of competition.   The good news is that most of the games I played as a kid didn't get one or two of us killed as we engaged in all sorts of dangerous activities. All you have to do is pay any attention to the news to see in full dying color the lethality of the modern battlefield.  Mostly as children, we learned to play together and had both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.  Sometimes may of both in one day.  

I think society was a lot more involved in competition for boys when I was younger.  I know that today there are a lot more sports for young women and I applaud Title IX for changing the rules to pay for women athletes to go to school.  I think as a kid, we boys more often than not played against each other and the girls played with each other.  By that, I mean no mixed gender teams not anything sexual. 

I can remember as a kid that my sisters played tennis.  It was more important that they had pretty white shoes and looked good.  I played in a pair of ratty worn out sneakers that were so dirty that grass stains would have not shown on them.  I worked hard to defeat my opponent and they sure as hell tried to beat me.  There was no tea and watercress sand witches after our games.  I played a heck of a lot more baseball and basketball than tennis anyway.  Other than in school, I didn't ever play soccer.  When we did then, it was a lot more like rugby unless the coaches were watching.

Having two older sisters, I did see an enormous amount of disputes between girls.  There seemed to be an unwritten rule that girls worked hard to make other girls cry.  With boys, we not only wanted them to cry, we wanted them to bleed.  If we were unhappy with someone there wasn't a lot of just telling lies about the other person, we would place a full on frontal attack to their face.  By the same token, I did lose a few of those fights and knew the agony of "Da face" (seldom did my "De Feet" hurt) after punches.  

MUD and Brother Rick
Yes, we are all different.  Thank god for that or it would be really boring out there.  But as a well schooled people observer, I am always perplexed when people want to blame the difference on just Nature or Nurture.  There has to be a lot of both in all of us.  That doesn't mean I can't love my brother or my son, it means that I want them both to be who they are and learn from the lessons like I did.  I'm pretty sure our school rooms have been different.  

My Niece Jenn and Son Dave
In the picture above, my Niece Jennifer is shown for the prime reason that she was a world class athlete and currently a Captain on the Kansas City Fire department.  I love her hugs and kisses and do everything I can do to avoid anything that might lead to punches.  

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