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Is Your Life Like “Whack-a-Mole?”

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Emotional Health related image Photo: Getty Images

There is a popular arcade game called “Whack-a-Mole” which consists of a number of holes cut out of a panel on the machine. You hold a mallet in your hand and push “start,” at which point “moles” (little stuffed animals, not real ones!) pop up through the various holes at random.

The object of the game is to hit the moles with the mallet before they drop back out of sight. You are scored on the number of moles you hit with the mallet, as well as the number of misses due either to bad aim (the mole was visible but you missed it) or poor timing (you hit in the right place, but the mole had already disappeared). It’s a lot of fun and is very popular. I recommend it!

It occurred to me that this game is a good metaphor for our lives. Problems pop up at random and without warning and we have to whack them as best we can. (Unlike the game, however, many of our problems don’t disappear if we simply wait long enough!) And, no matter how many we whack, they will continue to pop up at random. Forever.

It’s just the nature of things, and we can’t do much to stop it.

What’s the lesson here? Perhaps if we picture moles popping into our lives instead of problems, and a big mallet in our hands as a way of dealing with them we could more easily see some humor in the grand scheme of things.

Imagine yourself as a cartoon character coming upon a mole (problem) and then reaching behind you and pulling out a huge mallet that’s twice as large as you are. WHACK! You’ve dealt with it and you can put the mallet away for use another day. (How you get such a huge mallet behind you where no one can see it is beside the point ... they never explain it in cartoons, so why should I??)

It seems to me that this is a more entertaining way to look at your life, and don’t we all need a little dose of humor once in a while?

Shhhhh ... don’t tell anyone. This will be our little fun secret.

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