The following conversation is being shared with the permission of my children.
My teenager jinxed the eleven-year-old. This rules of jinxing is that two people attempted to say the same thing at the same time, and the one doing the jinxing calls out that the other is jinxed. This means the jinxed person is not to speak until the other person says his name.
The nine year old is advocating the eleven-year-old just ignores the jinx and speak anyway. “I do it all the time. What are you going to do? Punish me? Mom’s right there.”
The teenager: “You can’t ignore the jinx. Society will fall apart if you ignore the jinx.”
The nine year old: “This is just something that kids made up…. or that parents made up to get kids to stop talking!”
The jinxed eleven-year-old: read something out loud from his computer about the state of democracy in America.
The teenager replies: “No! Society is just a system of rules that everyone agrees on! If we decide to ignore the rules everything falls apart. There are rules and principals at stake. We follow them in our daily lives.”
The eleven-year-old decides to fight back: “I call dibs on the couch you’re on. Dibs is a rule society has to follow, doesn’t it?”
The teenager responds: “You can’t call dibs on a chair I’m on! That’s against the rules of dibs.” Then he went on a rant about how if rules are enforced by force that’s a problem, because everything goes to might makes right then. We need voluntary agreement, etc, etc. Social contracts, etc, etc.
The nine-year-old, looking innocent: “Did I just break my brother?”
The eleven-year-old said something else.
The teenager responds: “you’re not allowed to speak!”
The nine-year-old: “Yes he is! Society doesn’t depend on jinx. Jinx is just made up.”
The teenager responds: “So is the constitution!”