I don't think I ever mentioned that, but a couple of years ago, I was addicted to the Sims, and then later to Sims 2. If you've ever been a Sims fan, you will understand me. I could spend many hours playing; creating families in that little virtual world, advancing their careers, decorating their homes, marrying them to one another and having them raise children, go on vacations and make friends.
I played with all sorts of families: bachelors and parents to many children, glamorous celebrities and homesteaders who grew their own food, families in tiny homes or huge mansions, rich and poor, with or without pets… until one blessed day, I woke up and saw my own family and home are waiting for me. So I quit playing the Sims and started investing my efforts into making my real home a sweet and pleasant dwelling. I learned many different skills, and saw that in real life, there is no limit to my creativity and I never get bored. I get to make something substantial and satisfying. What a treat!
When I think about the lifestyle of our generation, it is amazing how we spend so much time playing life, instead of actually living life. One striking example of this is relationships between men and women: instead of putting their efforts into something worthwhile and long-lasting, young people spend many years dating aimlessly, with fear of responsibility and commitment firmly planted in them by our cultural norms and education system.
Then, when it's clearly time to get serious, there's the famous 'we must try it out first' argument, and they move in together. But cohabitating has nothing to do with true commitment between husband and wife; it resembles family life about as much as playing house, or playing the Sims. It's just a game; you can quit anytime; and how on earth is this supposed to prepare someone for the burdens and joys of responsibility?
We, as the younger generation, still have time to show a better example – of living, rather than playing; of doing important, worthwhile and responsible things, rather than fooling around; of real commitment, rather than 'trying it out'. I'm hopeful. What about you?