BBC Radio Merseyside Thought for the Day 4/3/2003
Here's a question for you. What's the biggest construction company in the world?
The answer is probably MONOPOLY. The manufacturers of the famous board game produce a hundred million houses each year.
This week MONOPOLY is seventy years old. It's a worldwide success. Now there's even a Liverpool version with Lime Street Station and St George's Hall and famous streets like Scotty Road and Penny Lane thrown in for good measure.
There's a lot of money in MONOPOLY. They print about 50 billion dollars of MONOPOLY money each year. But it's never known inflation. MONOPOLY property values are the same today as they were in 1935! Ah, if only real life was like that.
I always get a bit troubled by MONOPOLY when I play it. It seems to bring out the worst in me.
I like to think I'm a generous sort of person, but MONOPOLY makes me very competitive.
I like to think I'm quite gentle, but I get aggressive playing MONOPOLY.
And I like to think I'm fair and honest but boy, can I find ways of cheating at that game when the chips are down.
If only real life was like that? What troubles me is that maybe this is real life, that MONOPOLY brings the real me to the surface. A not very pleasant person who will stop at nothing to make sure I get more and better than those around me.
What can I do about this as Lent approaches? Perhaps spend time looking deeply into the pros and cons of my attitude towards money and things? Or maybe - and this is a far more attractive option - take up Ludo instead.