Don’t Miss The Forest Through The Trees

Anthropologically speaking, humans are an insane species.  We fight wars over silly inconsequential things.  We treat each other with such disdain, systematically unwinding ties that bind us together as a species just trying to get through in the wide world.  We segregate ourselves for temporary benefits of material gain, we push away the embrace of other cultures for fear of diluting our own culture.  Perhaps this is the deep-rooted fear in our psyche of our fear of dying, disappearing without ever having left a mark on the world.

And yet, no mater how hard we try to fight, how violent the war, how bad the state of the world is, we go to extraordinary lengths to find other ways to tie ourselves back together.  Travel, art, music, dance, sports, food.  The last two being particularly powerful.

I work with a very multinational company.  Between a combined total of 50 employees, we have 20 countries represented.  We make it a point to have a “potluck” every other month or so.  And these potlucks are not like anything you have been to before.  Every one of us bring something different every time, hardly anything is ever bought.  It is the food, and good company that draw us together.  Conversations spark out about the different cultures.  It is an incredibly unifying experience.

And there is nothing stronger for the human experience of rebuilding those ties that bind us than unity.  Uniting against a common force, a common enemy, is often used in war to keep morale up, and to great effect.  Nationalism certainly helps as well.

Outside of war, in sports, there are a few things that unite us as human beings.  The olympics, being one of them.  But more recently than even the olympics is the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

I am not a big soccer fan at all (Read:  All I know is that you don’t touch the ball, and you try to get it past the goalie into the net).  But even I felt the world’s eyes on South Africa while this was happening.  Sure the normal politics were going on.  But for a moment, just a moment, people of different nationalities coming together to enjoy a game that they absolutely love, watching the tip top of the top play the game as skillfully as anyone ever has.  Standing shoulder to shoulder, not seeing nationality, not seeing hatred, violence.  Rather, seeing a fellow human being.   Heck, even take a gander at the official song for the World Cup, here.  If that doesn’t foster unity, then I don’t know what does.

Every one of us has taken the time over the last few months to watch the catalysm beta to criticize what is going on.  Trolls are as bad as ever, ripping the dev’s for not knowing how to balance the game that we have so come to love.  People are getting exhausted from raiding, and taking a break from the game, leaving their friends behind to rebuild some RL ties.  Every one of us are forward-looking at this point.

My raid team, just a few weeks back downed Halion for the first time.  It was an amazing experience.  We had been working very hard on the content for a few weeks.  When the dragon rasped his last breath, and our achievements flashed across the screen, vent, for a change, was remarkably silent.  And a strange thing happened.  We all sort of gyrated to one another.  Our toons standing, unified against the boss.  Loot didnt even flash across the screen, no one had clicked on the boss.  We were all standing, in awe at our accomplishment, shoulder to proverbial shoulder.

No matter the circumstance, we must remember to look at the now, the big picture.  Yes, I have been paying attention to the beta.  Yes, I have issues with the way Ret Pallies are shaping up (still no TRUE gap closer, rotation is far too dependent on TV), and I currently have issues with the way Ret Pallies will be carried through the end of the expansion (we are horribly OP at AoE), but that does not stop me from appreciating what the game is.

This game has the unique ability to pull people from different walks of life together, and unify them.  I have guildies that are from all over the United States, Australia, Canada, and yes, even Europe.  We have single mothers, college students, married families, older couples, single dads, ordained ministers, school teachers, alcohol sales persons (yes, Rundler, I am a bit jealous of your job), and families who have to deal with disabilities.    People that would never ever meet or say two words to each other in real life are best friends in the game.

It doesn’t matter to me that we didn’t have a perfect, clean, Halion kill.  What matters to me is the game brought us together, and it was an incredibly unifying experience.

Yes, look forward.  Voice your concerns about the class that you so love to spend your free time with.  But don’t ever lose sight of what you have.  Because what you have now…  What you have now is a treasure that unifies people.  Perhaps GC should get a thank you the next time you are in the forums, instead of a troll post.

2 Responses to “Don’t Miss The Forest Through The Trees”
  1. Klepsacovic says:

    An inspirational post, but I got caught by the “No matter the circumstance, we must not remember to look at the now, the big picture.” It really spoke to me, the idea of forgetting to ever look at the big picture.

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