I am sitting here on a Sunday morning, listening to my son play Super Mario for the Wii, with his friend. Common phrases I've heard over the past few weeks: "That level is so easy", "That level was so easy, I mean we only lost 9 guys there", and the grand-daddy..."I can beat world 8, its so easy, I can beat the big castle, its fun, I've never played it, but I can beat it!".
I have underestimated the importance of the young male mind's need to obtain, hold, and communicate control (and maybe a little dominance), over his world. I'm not sure why we have to communicate dominance so prematurely. I witnessed the "world 8" domination, which wasn't pretty, this particular champion struggled to get 15 ticks off the timer before taking a lava bath each time.
Intrigued, I am, on why these 7 year olds feel the need to present themselves as something they aren't? They just got done playing pretend on the playground at school...where they were all heroes and everybody won. Does the misguided "I want people to like me, so I'll lie" engine inside of the human male start that early? They are really cute when they get into their little discussions about their defeated foes and conquered nemeses...it reminds me of the modern day Penis Contests of the adult male. "Mine's a foot long", "Well mine is two feet long"...we've all heard it before, over wide and ranging subjects as sports, cars, lawn care, you name it...if it can be done with excellence and contains a level of effort, men will use it to extend the length of their penis.
In my own mind, I grew up tempted by the same pressures. I'm sure that I have spouted as many white lies about my abilities and length of my manhood as the next, if not more. I did wake up about 15 years ago, and discovered confidence and respect were internal measures of a man, driven by his inner guts: Mind, Body, Spirit or Soul. Not assigned to me from those around me, as I had previously lived my life. I wanted people to like me, just like you, so I wanted to hear the official signals of acceptance and membership. "That's cool, man you rock", or even better yet, the uber-magnum compliment of hearing a third party told, "yeah, you're good, but you should play my friend, Scott... he can jump and grab the rim with both hands...he's quick and he'll kick your ass".
Turning that part of my world upside down was a normal part of growing up. Facing reality was difficult...understanding the mortality of all humans, and the ultimate admission that I was not a super-hero, and in many ways...average. Every man is average at something. Jerry Rice, NFL Hall of Fame Receiver, shot a 92 trying to play professional golf... you bet that was a humbling moment.
In my own world, my lack of focus on internal development and self realization, in lieu of a total commitment to external acceptance was incredible. Accepting the reality of that situation and the need to change...was...a real weenie shrinker moment...only made palatable by the concession that I now no longer needed to care how short my wanker was.
I haven't beat level 8 yet, but my nephew has, and he'll kick your ass.