The Metaphor For Life

I used to love playing Snakes and Ladders when I was a kid; well, when I was winning at least. When I was losing all kinds of negative thoughts would surface: ‘It’s not fair’, ‘why can’t I get a lucky break?’ and ‘what if my sister beats me?’

I think Snakes & Ladders is a great metaphor for life; we can become competitive and frustrated when we see others doing well, feeling that we are lacking in some way because we are so far behind in the race. We enjoy our own Ladders far too briefly because we are already thinking about the next one we need to climb. We hate that life gives us Snakes just when things seem to be going well, but can also guiltily take delight in the Snakes that befall others.

But let me ask you this – would you want to play a game called just ‘Ladders’? Probably not because it would be too easy and boring.

You see we need the Snakes; yes they can be intensely painful, cruel and utterly unfair but they also have the potential to teach us how to become stronger, more resilient, wiser, kinder and more accepting of life. We don’t ask for them and we are glad when we avoid them, but life would be dull and unadventurous without them…plus, when the Ladders finally do come our way we tend to appreciate them far more.

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