I was playing Pac Man on my phone today and developed a new strategy once I hit the peach level and higher. If you don’t already know, biting the magic bullets begets immunity to the ferocious multi-colored ghosts turned blue. Instead of chomping my way through the maze to get to the magic bullets and invoke revenge on as many of the four ghosts as possible while racking up points in hopes of making the international internet leader board, I directed my once angry and fearful yellow chomping machine along a different route of self confidence and courage. For a long time, I thought the ghosts deliberately sought out to harm Pac Man, however, it turns out the ghosts blindly float along the maze and psychosomatically cause Pac Man (me) to seek the four corners of “safety” and revenge. Little did I know, the ghosts didn’t care about Pac Man dying, they cared about building his self confidence, hence the intermittent slides of Pac Man becoming larger after beating certain levels. Pac Man’s insane thought process, however, believed that it was better to fervently seek a ghost meal upon digestion of the magic pellet, forgetting that eating them only restores them to their original color and health.
So there I led my little one through the progressively quicker groundhog day mazes of life, this time not seeking to repeatedly destroy the immortal ghosts only to receive a stellar score and die quicker. Instead, I guided Pac Man around corners not only expecting to see an occasional red, orange, pink, or green foe turned friend, but embracing their company and guiding them through echolocation along their blind route. Pac Man’s mindset has become: “If I am eaten, they know not what they did, for they are blind and hungry. Besides, I’m the bad guy who eats all the pellets, they’re probably hungry too.”