Thursday, February 7, 2008

Choosing sides ...

In WOW, you are given 'quests' (tasks to complete) that will gain you money, goods to keep or sell, or provide you with 'reputation' amongst other groups within the game. A recent quest I was on required me to gain the favor of one group over another. I could choose which of the two groups I wanted to side with, but I then had to kill enough of the other group to gain favor with my chosen side.

The first thing that got my attention as I started killing the MOBs (characters) that I had labeled 'the bad-guys', was that I lost 100 points of reputation (favor) with their side while only gaining 4-6 points of favor with the side I was currying favor with !!! Over the course of my killing spree I had killed quite a few of my chosen bad-guys, making their side totally pissed at me, while I still had NOT gained favor with my chosen good-guys.

RL (real-life) is often a losing battle like this, I think. Often we try to gain favor, and in the course of our attempts - the scales do not balance between the weight of harm we are doing and the results we are trying achieve.

How many times in childhood, school years, and adult life have you felt pressure (from within or without) to choose sides? How many times do we let ourselves be governed by some arbitrary set of rules into behaving in ways we would not usually behave? I can well remember such times in my life, and in the actions of organizations I belong to, communities I have lived in, and jobs I have held. I am sure I have been party to such actions many more times than I care to admit.

Personal memories of having school friends that spanned diverse cliques flooded my memory. Always wondering WHY should I have to choose one set of friends over another; WHY can't we all just get along; WHY should I scorn, or ignore, someone I would otherwise befriend just to fit in with a particular group; WHY can’t I just be friendly with whom I choose?? WHY WHY WHY ...

Although there may be millions of seemingly valid reasons WHY we do these things in life...I hope I never forget to stop once in a while and remind myself that I have choices - not mandates - and I hope upon weighing the outcomes I make better decisions ...after all ..."why not"?

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