When I was young and my family would get together at my grandparent’s house the adults would stay upstairs and talk while the kids went downstairs to play. Every person knew their role and played their part, all except my Grandma Hall. As soon as we arrived Grandma said her hellos to all the adults and then followed us kids downstairs.
It was part of the magic of Grandma Hall’s house. She always had a new activity or game for us to play and on the few times when there was no activity or game she was completely content simply to watch us play together. My brothers and sisters, my cousins and friends accepted Grandma Hall as one of our own.
One of our favorite of Grandma’s games was one she called, “Why is it like me?” The game began by selecting one person to leave the room. Then, the remaining children would pick an object in the room that in some way or another reminded us of the person who had left. Once we had picked our object the person would come back in and begin searching for clues.
In their quest to find the object the rest of us had picked, they would go around to different people who had remained in the room and ask them, “Why is it like me?” As a person who knew what the object was you then had to find a way to describe the object while accentuating the positive.
For example, if the object that was picked was a light fixture and the person came to you and asked, “Why is it like me?” You would respond, “Because you are both so bright” or “You are useful.” If the object was the television, maybe the description would be, “You are entertaining.” Perhaps the object was a picture on the wall. The clue would become, “Because you are beautiful.” This was the essence of the game. You would try to say as many things as possible about that person without giving them enough clues to guess the selected object.
As the game went on, creating the clues became more difficult. Not only did you have to find a new way to describe the object but the description had to accent something special about the person.
We enjoyed describing others’ positive attributes but the real fun came as we were sent out of the room in order to return to hear clues about ourselves. We loved the affirmation that came when we learned why the selected object was “like me.”
Although at the time we believed the game was about guessing the object, I understand today that it was about taking an opportunity to complement each other. I can truly say it is one of the only games in my life I’ve seen where everyone wins.
This Christmas, take the opportunity to think of positive personality traits of those around you. Then take it a step further and actually tell others why those attributes are “like them.” Lets see we can’t find ways this week and through the new year to tell others why they’re bright or useful, beautiful or entertaining.
Our world is full of amazing inventions, beautiful pieces of art and innovative architecture. But, the most remarkable creations you’ll ever see are the people who are already a part of your life.
Let’s play “Why Is It Like Me?” This holiday season, choose an item in your space. Think of someone important in your life and tell me by leaving a comment (and then consider telling that person) why that object particular is like them. See if the same little moment of magic happens as it did in the basement of Grandma Hall’s house when we shared positive attributes with each other.
Enjoy exploring the ordinary objects and extraordinary people around you. Merry Christmas,
I’ll be back on the web Monday the 29th.