You’ve graced me by saying nice things about me; in (I hope) a show of appreciation, or perhaps (more truthfully) an old man taking an opportunity to rail on in a show of apparent “wisdom”, here are some things in my life that I hope are helpful to you guys. Keep in mind that, to quote the Cowboy Guide, good judgment comes form experience, but experience comes from bad judgment.
Not all game-related, but I hope helpful:
The most important things in life are priorities and perspective (and people are a priority).
Chances are good we’ve all gotten our blood up at some point over this game (and doubtless other things). It’s helpful to keep things in perspective. When the server disconnected when I was desperately trying to claw my way into Dominator, it’s easy to throw my phone; then I realize how blessed I am, and it’s a game, and it’s not the end of the world if I have to wait another eight months for the chance to unlock that dinosaur. There is plenty of fun stuff to do in this game (thank you, Ludia). Same is true with much of life; in the grand scheme of things, what really matters?
Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves, for we shall never cease to be amused.
Good, real, deep humor and laughter (not bitter or scornful laughter or cynical jokes) are indications of good mental health. When you play modded PvP and “win” 40 DNA or yet another Aerotitan, you can get upset or you can just chuckle at it. When you log back in and realize you forgot to start a new dinosaur to cooking in your hatchery when you have 56 dinosaurs logged up in your market and that incubator has been sitting empty for three days, you can either get mad at yourself, or you can just laugh at your humanity. It is a blessed thing to find humor in yourself. I’m well-known IRL for my bad jokes, but it’s because I’m often just looking for an excuse to laugh. Life is too short to stress through it, and people are too precious not to enjoy it with.
Give people the benefit of the doubt.
We don’t know people’s stories, so when they are annoying us, it’s good to assume a story that gives them the benefit of the doubt. That worker at the fast food joint that is taking forever and not getting my order right, maybe she’s a girl who’s just gotten clean from drugs and is trying to get her life back together, or maybe she’s a teenage, single mother of three special-needs kids. The last thing she needs is me to get in her face when she’s giving it her best. How desperately do so many people just need someone to smile at them and to acknowledge their humanity? Here in the forums, maybe you get somebody saying trashy stuff or blowing smoke. We don’t know what kind of day they had, what might have just happened to their job, what diagnosis a family member just got, what kind of family history or background they might have. So don’t take things too personal, don’t get upset, and give people the benefit of the doubt.
It doesn’t have to be good; it just has to be helpful.
Hi, my gamer-tag is HanSoloWannaBe, and I’m a recovering perfectionist. I wasted way too much of my life trying to be perfect. Someone gave me a BFO (blinding flash of the obvious) that it doesn’t have to be good; it just has to be helpful. There are lots of good things to say or do, but the timing might be wrong, or I might use the wrong words, or the person might not be in a place to hear or receive it, or I might not need to spend oodles of time getting it perfect. It doesn’t need to be good; it just needs to be helpful.
The most important two words in a disagreement: that’s right.
This one doesn’t apply to JW:TG, but it’s been too valuable to my life not to share. Whether you’re disagreeing about someone over politics, religion, or what to eat for dinner, the most two most important words in any disagreement are, “That’s right” (I stole this from Chris Voss, by the way). Say I’m a flaming free-market capitalism (which I am), and my friend is a democratic socialist (which he is). We can yell in each other’s faces about our positions, but when real progress comes is when I can try to get to the bottom of his position. Eventually, as I try to understand why and what he believes, I say, “So your goal in all this is to find a way to provide for poor, under-privileged people?” “That’s right,” he says. Okay. Now, we can finally have a real discussion; we can talk about why he thinks his politics will help the underprivileged, and I can talk about why I think mine will help (or maybe I realize my position never even considered the underprivileged). Same thing goes when my teenage son wants to go somewhere for the night. I keep trying to understand his “why” until I ask, “So you want to be able to do something fun with your friends?” Him: “That’s right!” Me: “Okay, so let’s talk about the best way to make that happen that keeps you and them safe but still lets you have a great time making memories.” Not sure if any “that’s right” conversations would happen on the forums, but it sure has been helpful to me both personally and professionally in a world with so much antagonism. Maybe if Hammond and Malcolm had had a “That’s right” conversation, the raptors would never have gotten out?
And chances are that by this time in the post, I’m now sitting in a Jeep here talking to myself. That, that’s chaos theory.