There’s an increase in the amount of messages that involve virtue signaling.

Since we spend way more time on social media now, we encounter the following messages:

Buy this product and your life will be better.

Share this to show your love for the country.

Share this to spread the message of our religion.

Share this to support our business and to remind me of how good a friend you are.

Share this to tell people that you care for the environment.

Share this recipe to encourage other people to stop eating natural food because animals are more important than your health.

Share this message to show people you’re independent enough to not need a religion.

And so on.

We buy nice things to signal that we are higher in wealth, status, taste or some other reason.

We are playing the game called “I am better than you.”

To an extent, this is a useful game to play because it helps us strive to become better people and our efforts contribute to a cause or to other people.

This becomes harmful when the word “game” disappears from the conversation and we take our participation in these activities seriously.

And our status in the hierarchy becomes an “all-important” metric.

In any hierarchy, there are people higher than you and lower than you.

I learned from Alan Watts that these hierarchies can be referred to as games.

The most common game that people play is “I am richer than you” or “I am more spiritual than you.”

However, whenever we find ourselves losing a game, our tendency is to end up challenging the other players to another game where we feel that we win and the other person will lose.

The game often begins with the declaration “I am superior to you because I am more (spiritual/tolerant/kind to animals/ kind to the planet/ accepting/loving, a better parent, etc).

And everyone is playing this game in some form or the other.

And I have experience playing in the financial/career part, the athletic/martial arts part, the atheism part, the Christian part, the agnostic part, the naive chivalrous male part and so on.

It’s all a game.

One we all sometimes take too seriously.

Also, no matter what game we choose to play, we are likely always in the middle.

There is someone higher and lower than us in the hierarchy.

And it ads insecurity and tension if said game is taken too seriously and we begin to see the game as a non-game or a real thing.

The message of this post, is NOT to encourage you to stop playing these games.

The message of this post is to remind you that you are playing games.

So if you’re in a situation where things are overwhelming and shit is flying around, instead of having a breakdown or experiencing anxiety, you can begin to recognize that you are just playing a game.

If you are winning and having fun, you are free to continue playing.

But if you are losing or feeling miserable or incompetent and you notice that the game is costing you more to continue playing, you have the option to pause the game, stop playing for a while and play a different game.

A fun game is something, that engages me but isn’t taken too seriously.

But you’re free to do whatever you want to do and play whatever game you want to play.

Thank you for reading.

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