A Non-Zero-Sum Game

Life is a non-zero-sum game. We could help without giving away any of our happiness. Therefore, after we ensure our interests, we should set out to make others content.

In every war, as there is a win, there is a loss, too. However, fortunately, we are now living in a time of peace in the history of the world. In peaceful times, life is more opportune than victory and defeat—and there emerges the need for life satisfaction.

In fact, peace is no more than a standstill for the countries of the world unless we start giving. To make something, we do not need to steal, and to give something, we need not lose. Food for a smile can save the world; working for charity can be fulfilling.

Working for Charity: A Non-Zero-Sum Game

I am working for charity for an employer: the company pays me in charitable donations through an Indian charity organisation. In this work, I find great joy, for they send me picture of the happy faces of the poor people I feed. I feel this is the perfect example of a non-zero-sum game.

Though I get nothing that feeds me here, I get something I can get nowhere else. I get drive, dreams, and a purpose—these to me, a teenager, are a blessing. My writing feeds someone, my employers can run the company, and I get something other than a certificate. There is more than the animalistic traits of gain and self-preservation here: there is the very human thing of growth.

Free Education: A Non-Zero-Sum Game

All education should be free, and there should be no system between us and natural learning. For that matter, learning should be all about finding inspiration, taking responsibility, and beating challenges. I salute the brilliant teachers that work against the tide to bring free education to the masses. The masses are underprivileged and, though many deny this fact, deserving regardless.

The monopoly of education tries to sell not books but futures with them. I believe teachers that give more than just the allotted time—some insight and true inspiration—make life non-zero-sum.

In addition, the creative find ways to give without losing. We do this through art, charity, and teaching. Therefore, to add value apart from economic value, there is no alternative to good teachers.

Friendship and Family: A Non-Zero-Sum Game

A friendship is not even close to a business, which is deal after deal of exact precision. Hopefully, we never cheat our friends; rather we grow with them. We should not see the time we spend with our friends as another at the desk wasted.

The same goes for family. In fact, humanity lives on as long as we integrate respectful and loving indiscretions from logic into society. Therefore, humanity is defying the logic of material gain and self-preservation to realise the uncertain beauty of stopping to smell the daisies.

The Significance of the Non-Zero-Sum Game

Life being non-zero-sum, there are a couple of implications of this trait of its.

First, our victory does not mean defeat for another. Therefore, others can rejoice with us on our success in our ventures. Again, we can see others succeed and not think, “Alas! That is another opportunity taken from me!”

Second, a non-zero-sum game keeps a score. There is usually a limit to this score, but, given the grand scale of life, let us say there is none. Therefore, we should always aim big: let us not aim to slay the beast but rule the jungle!

Third, and most importantly, there is cooperation in a non-zero-sum game. If we realise neither of us has to lose, we may want to talk it out. Because of this, a non-zero-sum game is one level higher than a zero-sum game.

Why Life is a Non-Zero-Sum Game

We lose what we have, and you get what you pay for. Indeed, yet, who will account for the humanity of life in that we defy logic sometimes? Nowhere should life be to be found in the formula of materialistic success—if there were one.

Life is a non-zero-sum game. As we acquire them, we may lose our preciouses. Still, we are more than conductors of emotion, fear, and wealth.


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