Saturday, 22 September 2012

the snakes and ladders of activism and engagement

[a more light hearted post about games that people play]

I've always liked the game of snakes and ladders. Even nowadays when I sometimes play it with my grandchildren.  Who when they were younger didn't like the going down a snake bit and sometimes tried to avoid it.  You might call it cheating.  By going a few more squares than what the dice said.  To avoid the slippage.  

But as they got a wee bit older and wiser they got used to the snake bit and losing some of the time.  For I didn't always let them win just because they were small.  Although I did let them away with it some of the time until they could handle it.

I think the game of activism and engagement in mental health matters is something like a game of snakes and ladders.  When the dice is with you then it's all about climbing up the ladders as fast as you can.  You can't quite believe your luck and it seems like you're headed for the top.  Then before you know it the snake has appeared and you're slipping back down.  Much faster than you went up.

The thing is to enjoy the ride.  Going up or down.  And get used to it.  Just like my grandchildren did .  As I did at their age and still do.  Avoiding the snakes isn't always possible.  I think it's better not to cheat if you can manage.  It makes the ladder climbing all the more enjoyable.  And the snakes begin to lose their power.

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