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Another Fable about Gamesmanship

The conflict resolution fellow radiated experience. His voice was mellifluous, his manner confident and reasonable. His consultation area was ergonomically designed to sooth, and his clients' bills were dispatched in embossed envelopes.

"Look at your situation as a game," he said to this family seeking his expertise. "Very much more complex and serious, of course. But let's, for the moment, view circumstances as such. A game, plain and simple."

"Sure," chorused the father, mother.

"Okay," said their eight-year-old boy.

"As in any game we can play to - " the councilor prompted and looked at the father.

"Win," supplied the father.

The councilor nodded and turned his regard to the mother, who said, "Lose," to which the smiling advisor added in placating tones, " - or draw!" He cast a benign look at the trio and was about to continue, when the youngster observed, " - or you can quit. Or the battery might run down. Or you might jump to another level. Or . . ."

Of the eyes that turned on the sagacious kid, only one pair gleamed with professional envy.

Moral: Solutions sometimes depend on the Operating System.