“Game over: love glasses on” is another Imagine Creatively bedtime story for children and “waking up” story for adults – a political satire with a constructive twist in a children’s book for all ages. Emphasis on constructive, concrete, future-oriented ideas about how can we live and enjoy life together without constantly poking each others’ eyes out.
The cold war arms race subtly continues as does the international tension around the use of nuclear bombs. It seems unreal for the ages we’re living, but it’s the stark truth of the world politicians running the show and for where we put in our money as global economies.
This story has been in my creative drawer for two years, since I was asked as a Transcend member to sign an anti-nuclear ban treaty from Social Scientists for Survival.
I had withdrawn from working in post-war zones to raise small children at home. “Can I sign as a stay-at-home mom?”, I asked. Felt completely insignificant to decision-making powers, yet that was the most important thing I was doing for peace. Raising small children and telling them new stories about the earth we’re inhabiting, and the world we are creating, with each of our actions, daily.
That summer, home alone with small children I found myself checking the front door many times an evening, to make sure it is locked for the night. In a very safe neighbourhood we are living in. I even joked telling my girls to enjoy each other and very moment we have as tomorrow we might not be here anymore. None of us might be. A nuclear war will leave cockroaches and nature with a new challenge to expand life again.
The story was inspired by one of Dr. Seuss’ lesser-known books that was actually withdrawn from library shelves during the Cold War due to the “moral equivalence” doctrine contained in it.The Butter Battle Book published in 1984 ended in suspense about who will press the button first, a theme still valid in international relations today.
Moral equivalence is a fancy name for what my mother used to say when we fought as children: none is better than the other when you fight. You are all responsible. Each party is responsible for what they’re putting in. The Mutually Assured Destruction of the nuclear threat in the Cold War was rightly shortened to MAD.
It seems unreal that we are still talking about nuclear weapons as humanity, that countries are still stocking and creating weapons of mass destruction.
What can each of us do about it? Cause we certainly have power that can add up.
“Game Over”, my follow on story, was thus written as an emotional emergency. It picks up the theme with the descendants of Zooks and Yooks that have not learnt their lessons and still keep fighting each other in the mirror.
“Remember the battles in the bad old days?
Successors today haven’t changed their ways,
The Zooks and the Yooks upscaled their game
The boys in the back room don’t want to play tame.
Now they have even more dangerous toys,
Eager to anywhere anytime simply deploy.
Vooks and Wooks they now call themselves
Mirroring each other and their former selves.”
Our collective level of conflict handling is at the level of kindergarten. Beyond emotional intelligence highly rated, we need to be more creative about conflict handling and relational intelligence.
I don’t want just another story to go in and out of the head. Thinking as a pedagogue, at the intersection of head, heart, hands as always. To raise its value as an educational tool, the illustrated book also includes a practical workbook, an ABC of conflict and difficult emotions handling essentials. Working questions are included for educators, parents and even politicians – to use for approaching conflicts and feelings around conflicts constructively.
I trust that:
- we can write a different story about our enemies – and turn enemies into friends.
- we can relearn from children how to get rid of resentments after fights and keep the play on.
Join me in bringing this book to form, another fun resource taking conflict creatively serious:o)