No musical chairs

One of the only contests I've ever won was when I was seven years old. It was at a Christmas program at a department store in Washington, D.C. The game was musical chairs. The point of the game is that each round eliminates one person, because in each round a chair is removed. There will never be enough chairs for everyone. At the end of the game, I won a giant candy cane. I got to sit on the chair alone on the stage. And although I was glad I won, I also felt foolish all by myself on the stage.

Sometimes life can seem like a game of musical chairs—and it isn't much fun to be the one who feels left out. Also, just as I felt awkward all alone on that stage with my prized candy cane, it can feel uncomfortable to be the one who is doing the excluding.

October 13, 2003

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