There is a dirty, little secret about the game, Apples To Apples. You play your red apple cards trying to get the coveted green apple card. All the red apple cards are nouns and the green ones are adjectives. Next time you play the game, notice that the green cards each player collects are accurate descriptions of that player! Don’t laugh out loud when your opponent gets “Undesirable” and “Dull.”
The thing is, there are many ways that our inner self comes out for everyone else to see.
Take dogs. People choose dogs. They also live with them. If the ten dogs and people in a park were separated, it wouldn’t be that hard to guess which ones go home together. If the similarity isn’t hair color or texture, body shape or facial expression, it is mannerisms, temperament or aspirations. Often, it is all of them.
Why is that?
We can’t help but project who we are – even as we try to project what we want others to see us as.
This couldn’t be more true than the things we invent [or build, write or motivate others towards]. They project who we are.
Every book ever written is an autobiography. Every game or toy tells a great deal about the inventor.
I am a full time rabbi. I write sermons, eulogies and articles week after week. We are told that, in a lifetime, a rabbi only gives one sermon. It is the sermon of their life. It is their life. It is the words they speak, the ones they write and the manner their life is lived. The good rabbis are ones who are authentic to who they are.
There is a little secret in the rabbinate. The best sermon a rabbi ever gives is the one she or he most needs to hear.
Games and toys are books – they are sermons. What game do you most need to play? Invent it, and it will be your best.
The best games and toys we invent are the ones most authentic to who we are.