What's wrong with us

We all like to receive gifts: the expensive ones and not so expensive ones; brought by friends from faraway countries or made by our children at shop class. However, the donor must try hard to make sure you enjoy the gift as long as possible. Mostly, it refers to those gifts that we receive from life.  

There is a tale about a fisherman who caught a Golden Fish. The fish pleads for its life, promising any wish in return. The fisherman went mad with greed and blurted out: "Make it so that I had everything!" "All right," Fish said.  "Now you HAD everything!"   
It is believed that this tale teaches us to formulate our wishes more carefully. But is that all? I think it also tells us that the most valuable gift is useless if we are not ready to take it.  
“Vain gift, random gift, | Life, why have you been given to me?” wrote Pushkin in moment of melancholy. Scary words, if you think about it. Can there be a more priceless and perfect gift than life? But you have to admit that many of us were tormented by the same question more than once.  
Unfortunately, we are inclined to believe that fate “does not give us” what we deserve. We do not win millions in lottery, pretty girls marry others and children are not happy with their school marks.  There are too many reasons to grieve! And meanwhile we absolutely do not want to notice those gifts that fate presents to us daily and hourly.  
Perhaps it is from such a misunderstanding that we “cast pearls before swine” and "Bury our talents in the ground." Too many people idly go with the flow or, much more offensively, simply destroy the received gifts by drugs and alcohol. By the way, I saw it too many times that those people more likely than others to complain about the evil fate.


Now I am not talking about the meaning of life or that everyone should have a worthy goal. No, I am talking about how to extract the maximum benefit for ourselves from the gifts of fate.  

Imagine that you were given a car. Is this where your trouble ends? On the contrary, this is only the beginning. We must pass a driving test to receive a driver's license. We should provide budget for gasoline, oil, maintenance and parking, etc. The more expensive the gift, the more troubles.  
Same thing with gifts of fate: put them in the farthest corner for they are no good for anything except for collecting dust. On the contrary, only by spending some effort, you can get the most out of what you got. A simple example: there are places in our world, where you can watch the most wonderful sunrises especially in mountains and on the sea. But to watch at least one such sunrise, you have to give yourself the trouble to get to the place. And, of course, you have to stay awake. Have you ever seen the dawn in the mountains? Or on the sea? Has anyone seen the night starry sky over the steppe? Generally speaking, to see such incredible beauty, you need to not be lazy and set off to see what the Most High gave as a gift to all people and every person.  
And what about love? That is one of the most beautiful gifts that a person can get. Provided that he wants it and is ready to accept it. Provided that he understands the meaning of the great phrase: “We are the treasure; we are a priceless gift.”... Why don’t we take care of what we have? Why there is terrible news in daily newspaper about a husband who shot his wife and children? Or vice versa. What’s wrong with us?  
However, we don’t need to grope in in the dark, wondering how to use the gifts we got. God, or Providence, or the Absolute   - call it what you want   - took care and provided us with the right tools.  
And one of these tools that helps us more fully utilize the gift of existence is chess. This wonderful gift sent to us from above, like no other helps to develop intelligence, endurance, the ability to calculate the future and curb dark energy.  
As an eternal fan of this ancient game, I cannot but welcome the decision of the Russian Ministry of Education on introduction of chess in school curriculum from next year. At Kalmykia we made it back in 1994 and immediately got great results. Child performance has risen by 40 percent. Hardly anyone would argue that successful study in childhood becomes a strong foundation for success in adult life.  
I know that some would disagree with me. There are those who consider teaching chess a waste of priceless study time. They believe that in the age of computerization virtual games develop the same skills as chess and are much more efficient and interesting to children.  
You must admit that besides the fact that a board with thirty-two pieces is more affordable than a gaming computer and one can play chess everywhere without electricity and Internet, there are many other things that computer games lack. No wonder Einstein called chess "the only way to train the brain muscle." Chess has been developing for more than one thousand years. It would not be easy for computer games to catch up.  
However, what’s much more important is that the decision to teach chess in schools was adopted at the federal level. I regard this step as a manifestation of the State’s genuine concern for the citizens.  
Let me explain why I think so. Traveling a lot around the world, I noticed long ago that both in rich countries such as the USA or Germany and not as prosperous like Libya or Syria, people value the right to life above any other rights, democracy and freedom of speech. This is the right not to be hungry, the right to have a roof over your head, the right to safety and, most importantly, the right to development.  
But tell me where, in what country is human life proclaimed the highest value? We remember that the state as such appeared as a tool to protect resources and the accumulated values ​​of a tribe from the claims of neighbours. Actually, as such it remains even today. Keep what you have and don’t hesitate to occasionally seize your neighbour’s property - that’s the idea. Don't you think that this is a somewhat outdated approach for the third millennium? Today, leading economists and some politicians started coming to the conclusion that the basis for a state’s welfare is not natural resources, financial capital or even industry, but people. Especially those people who are intellectually developed and hard workers.  
There is even the term "human capital". It sounds not very impressive, but if this shows that the elite of humanity grasped the idea of unconditional value of human life, this is already progress.  
I am absolutely sure that the leaders of the third millennium will be the countries that are first to proclaim and implement the idea of vitacracy - the human right to a decent life and overall development.  
Human life is the greatest gift to us from above. Yes, it requires a lot of effort to open it up in its entirety. But who said that a person should be left alone with this gift?