What is it about playing checkers that bonds people together? Is it the challenge, the competition, or the conversation?  All sorts of age groups and combinations of people gather around this game to while away the hours. Whether you are good or bad at it, most people know how to play.

I remember the first time my nephew lost at checkers, it was not a pretty sight. His eyes got all puffy from crying, and he sounded as if the world he knew had come to a bitter end. And in some ways, I think it did. It was the first time he had to face defeat and choose to play again or pout. Once he got over it, and had a banana popsicle he chose to play again. 

So who taught you how to play? A parent, a grand parent, a sibling, maybe it was a neighborhood friend. Whoever it was, they gave you quite a gift. They gave you the ability to think, reason, plan ahead…and hopefully lose gracefully. Because as we all know, no one wins all the time. Sometimes the true lesson of the game is to come back and keep playing even after a long losing streak. The only person who really loses is the one who gives up.