The Playground – Win, Lose, or Draw: Ties

Our 7th UU Principle says we have respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

I feel like we most exemplify this principle when we call a game a tie.  We say, “both of you are great, everyone’s worked hard – let’s call it a tie and bring out the Rice Krispie treats and Capri Suns!”  And I think we need to do this a lot more often in the games we play with one another.

There is an Ubuntu legend:


“An anthropologist proposed a game to African tribe kids.  He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told them that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits.  When he told them to run they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats.

When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself they said: ‘UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?’”


Ubuntu is a philosophy of African tribes that can be summed up as, “I am what I am because of who we all are.”

I was in a conversation during lunch at school one day this year when a coworker complained about not being able to get a doctor’s appointment when she needed one, because her doctor had increased the patient load to accommodate all the new folks who now were able to qualify for affordable health care.  The question was put to me as the mother of three children and a spouse needing health care, and now that I was getting older and needing more health care myself, how did I feel about all of the changes…

I said, “If I have to wait in line so that everyone gets a turn, I think I am OK with that.  My children are too.  As a matter of fact, isn’t that what we want to teach all of the children to do: take a turn?  Give everyone a turn that wants one?”

Last week, the Supreme Court voted 6 -3 to uphold federal healthcare subsidies nationwide.

We’re going to finish this together.

Lydia Patrick

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2 Responses to The Playground – Win, Lose, or Draw: Ties

  1. Barbara Stahnke says:

    Thank you for giving me a concise answer to say when that is proposed to me about healthcare. Love this video and commentary. Let us all evidence this love. Yesterday, while walking out of the office, there was a lady who was a little out of her mind walking across Peachtree street. She was dancing and stopping and lifting her dress. Most people were laughing at her and doing the whole video phone thing. I was debating in my head what to do. A young black man stepped up to the plate much quicker. Going to her he started talking to her and walking her across the street. She was safe. I wished I had been that man who stepped up to the plate. I was full of admiration for him as he told people with his hand to stop the filming. Good job nameless hero.

    • Barbara, thank you so much for sharing this story. I think we all have opportunities to step up every day, and it’s our job to be present enough to recognize them. Good on you for your awareness and your gratitude to the man who rushed in. Next time you may be the one someone is thanking from afar.

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