Several hundred children are buzzing, parents in tow, to hunt more than a thousand hard-boiled, brightly colored Easter Eggs. It begins. The fastest are out with huge energy. Within no time they are strutting around, faces smiling, with baskets full of the multicolored prize, eyes freshly trained to spot more and their parents are beaming with pride. Though many others didn't experience such instant or extreme success.
Some children arrive a few minutes late, or couldn't sprint so fast, or are distracted by the wonderful sticks, stones and shells they usually collect until their parents redirect them to "hunt the eggs!" But the organizers are clever and hide new eggs at an even rate, so those without a head-start learn if they keep searching they'll eventually find a new egg overlooked by kids slowed by their bright but heavy load.
Then, fresh supply crashes. Children are still arriving and others have yet to find just one egg! These unlucky ones search then become frustrated and look up to see plainly and painfully exactly where all the eggs are. They're piled in the baskets of those happy kids. The unfairness stings and some children begin to cry.
Parents want to right this wrong but, blinded by their own emotion, they claim that egg-laden kids should give away their eggs. "It's only right," they declare. "There's enough for everyone if only we share evenly." "But why should we?" retort the parents of the kids with many eggs, "We found them fair and square. We're sorry your child didn't, but don't punish ours by taking their eggs away!"
The parents of the egg-rich become frustrated. This was supposed to be a fun day but now loads of kids are miserable just because they didn't get the most eggs. If we force evenness the game is ruined! Maybe someone should teach those kids better values like grit, respect and gratefulness so they can be more like ours and we can all enjoy our day in the park.
Some parents craftily mingle with the egg-rich adults to pitch their cause; "Would it be OK if we took two of your eggs and hid them so our child can find some eggs today?" This works and leaves us feeling somewhat pacified, even though it's deceptive and would hurt these children if they discover the truth; their success was contrived.
This is the way our great community Easter Egg Hunt fizzled out today. Each person walked away with a twinge of bitterness. The sad truth is; this experience flies too close to what we are doing to each other, across the world, through our single minded hunt for "eggs" ...qualifications, jobs, assets, employees, status, ideas, votes, knowledge etc. The rest of this analogy I'll leave to the reader's imagination.
This could have gone differently. We're already starting to do this better and here's how: a pocket of children, playing with their eggs, transform them by drawing a small symbol on the shells. They re-hide the objects, then find and encourage a dejected child to look again, "over here!" When their friend finds the hidden eggs they celebrate together, add a new symbol and excitedly hide the eggs again.
The energy of this small group catches like fire and soon more children are searching, boldly and happily, their curiosity renewed. Even egg-hoarders find no value in their fat collection, in fact, it's become vulgar. The new value is in adding a symbol and re-hiding the eggs for others to discover and become inspired to play bigger. The game re-awakens, it's alive, and when the new egg supply returns our children are wiser than to mindlessly, individually and feverishly grab and keep those fresh eggs. Instead, they joyfully pass them around adding their symbols, talking, laughing, learning and growing all the while.
Whatever inspires you, wherever you are and with exactly what you have, do this: add your own personal twist and put it into the world to be discovered. Let's keep this egg hunt going! Happy Easter Holidays.