These days, you hear kids say ‘I died’ all the time. Not as in ‘I died laughing,’ like my generation would have said, but as in ‘oops, I died,’ from losing their virtual life in a video game or anything that simulates real life.

It got me thinking about how seldom you would have heard kids saying that before video games like Pac Man, Space Invaders and the like. After all, to actually die – well, it’s a pretty horrendous concept for those of us who feel we haven’t accomplished much yet.

What a poor memory I had, and what a classic example of falling into the trap of judging everything from today’s perspective.

Of course, kids have been role-playing and more specifically playing war games since the human race has had toys, and they must have killed other soldiers or been killed themselves on many occasions. It’s all part of growing up.

Maybe it was mostly boys that played war games. I don’t know or remember, but it still sounds odd to me when I hear my daughter say ‘oops, I died.’

I recount this story not for its own intrinsic value but as a reminder to you and me that we often make decisions based on our own current context, when that can be the wrong context. It pays to think out of the box, and in the box of the person we’re trying to influence.

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