Leaving gender stereotyping aside, children play two types of games with toys. For example, some play with cars and some with dolls. These are entirely different kinds of games. When children plays with cars, they typically “use” the cars. They make the car do what they want it to do. Whereas, when children play with dolls, they typically “adore” the doll. They dress up the doll, comb its hair, feed it with food, give it a massage, etc. They serve the doll. These two types of games – “using” and “serving” – continue as the children grow up.
When the children have slightly grown up, they get a “live” pet. The game continues. Some children “use” the poor pet and make it do what they want it to do. Some children “serve” the lucky pet by cuddling it and adoring it. They play the same game with people – “use” them or “serve” them.
They play the same game in religion. Some “use” God to get what they want; that is what they believe. Some “serve” God by various means – through forms, non-forms, service, charity and austerity. Perhaps the rituals of religion are designed to make grown-ups play “serve” like how a child plays with a doll.
The whole world – including the natural resources, environment, forests, animals and people – is one big toy. Our life is the game. Some of us play “grab, grab, grab” by using everything and everyone. In every situation, we ask ourselves, “what is in it for me?” We live life as beggars even if we are wealthy. Some of us play “give, give, give” by serving everything and everyone. In every situation, we ask ourselves, “how can I help?” We live life as kings even if our possessions are meagre.
The toy is the same – the world. The game can be “grab, grab, grab” or “give, give, give”. The choice is ours. Do we want to play “beggar” or “king”?