When I was a Boy Scout, we played a game when new Scouts joined the troop. We lined up chairs in a pattern, creating an obstacle course through which the new Scouts, blindfolded, were supposed to maneuver. The Scoutmaster gave them a few moments to study the pattern before our adventure began. But as soon as the victims were blindfolded, the rest of us quietly removed the chairs. I think life is like this game. Perhaps we spend our lives avoiding obstacles we have created for ourselves and in reality exist only in our minds. We're afraid to apply for that job, take violin lessons, learn a foreign language, call an old friend, write our Congressman whatever it is that we would really like to do but don't because of perceived obstacles. Don't avoid any chairs until you run smack into one. And if you do, at least you'll have a place to sit down.
You are eight years old. It is Sunday evening. You have been granted an extra hour before bed. The family is playing Monopoly. You have been told that you are big enough to join them. You lose. You are losing continously. Your stomach cramps with fear. Nearly all your possessions are gone. The money pile in front of you is almost gone. You have to give in. You have lost. And suddenly you know that it is only a game. You jump up with joy and you knock the big lamp over. It falls on the floor and drags the teapot with it. The others are angry with you, but you laugh when you go upstairs. You know you are nothing and know you have nothing. And you know that not-to-be and not-to-have give immeasurable freedom.
There might have been twenty people there, young and old, but they all played, and so did Scrooge for, wholly forgetting in the interest he had in what was going on, that his voice made no sound in their ears, he sometimes came out with his guess quite loud, and very often guessed quite right, too for the sharpest needle, best Whitechapel, warranted not to cut in the eye, was not sharper than Scrooge blunt as he took it in his head to be.