Adult Games – Perception Style

indexThe ten year old neighborhood kids played a game called “Seven Steps Around the House,” a silly but serious game of finding a hidden friend.  We loved playing it as much as we think we continue to play the same game our entire lives.

The second game was, “I Draw A Frying Pan” where a friend faces a telephone pole across the street from our home.  Someone would draw a frying pan on his/her back complete with eggs and bacon, then touch the pan’s imaginary middle and say, “You’re it!”  (Again, a serious childhood game but kinda weird to type about it.)  We would all then run and hide somewhere around our house.  That “panned person” needed to find one of us and both run to touch the telephone pole first.  The pole was “glue.” Both games had the same rules and results but the neighborhood kids got to choose the game.  (I should have sold life insurance at that age.)

Who created this game and why it contained such careful details would stump sociologists.  It was simply “hide and seek,” played by kids before night fall.  As adults we play the same childhood games only this time each of us becomes the “glue,” instead of that neutral telephone pole.

Introduced to someone for the first time and within 1.5 seconds we have clothing, hair, age, posture, shoes and wristwatch measured, weighed and evaluated.  As oldsters we skip the “hiding” part and cut right to the “seek.”  Whether we’re a world traveler or travel within 25 miles of our home, we’ve caught that person.  Who’s the one hiding now?  Perception reigns true because it is ours.  Thomas Jefferson must have missed including absolute “perceptions” in his writings.

A friend tells me that Hillary is “evil” and I mention the comedy team of Cheny/Rumsfeld or Robert McNamara or my sister’s favorite evil person “Kissinger” and we have a clash of absolute perceptions.  And that’s only in politics.

Years ago perception was based on history – actually witnessed history.  Today perception is that 1.5 and the rest is history unfolding itself and either affirming or erasing our 1.5 conclusions.  We’ve bypassed the hiding (or hidden/full story) and cling to the seek or should I say sought.  We’ve lost the ability or attempt to find out, uncover, discover or even provide a moment of doubt.

I read that attention spans these days dropped from 12 seconds to 8.  I guess we’ll have someone “pegged” in 1 second in the our certitude.  How sad for us who didn’t even go through the necessary  and human process of “drawing a fry pan” on their back first.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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