“And no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the holy Spirit. There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.” — 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7
It has been months since the final vote was in, and I’m still not over the shock. It took me by surprise. I did not see it coming. It is difficult to accept how so many decided to cast their vote in such a way — a choice which devalues a certain segment of the population.
Of course, as I’m sure you realize, I am referring to the recent “Monopoly Token Madness” campaign, that allowed fans to vote on both classic tokens and new alternatives to help decide which ones will be included in the new version of the game. To my complete shock, the classic thimble did not secure enough votes. It has been dropped!
“The Thimble will not ‘pass go’ in the next generation of the Monopoly game,” Hasbro
said. “The lucky Thimble has ‘lost its shine’ with today’s fans and will be retired from the game.”
Upon hearing the news, one blogger wrote, “It isn’t as relevant to modern America . . .” Excuse me? Not relevant? Do you wear clothes, cover yourself in blankets, hang curtains or use potholders? Do you really believe sewing is not relevant?
Ok, so maybe the thimble, per se, is not needed to make all those things, but it is certainly a handy tool if you ever need to mend them. And, if you don’t happen to mend, you should be even more grateful to those who don a thimble to do the mending for you!
In the quilting world, thimbles must always be within an arm’s reach, readily available for stitching binding, buttons, beads and applique. It’s an aggravating day when I am trying to embellish my latest creation and can’t find my favorite thimble.
Perhaps it’s silly to make such a fuss about a tiny finger-tip covering in this 21st century era of massive technology, but the decision to outcast the thimble is not really about its usefulness. It’s a statement about a time that no longer exists — a time when being able to sew a button or embroider a pillow really meant something. For most of human history, having a skill or a trade was not only very relevant, but highly regarded. It is a relatively new concept to hold someone’s intellect in higher esteem than a person’s ability to create.
These days, everything from socks to draperies can be purchased premade at reasonable prices, and if your item should rip or lose a fastening, just toss it out and log onto the internet to purchase another. Very few of these items are crafted in the United States, making it difficult, if not impossible, for American artistisans to make a living by competing in the global marketing place.
As an avid quilt maker, I have often spent time pondering what life was like for the
common homemaker before electricity was in the home. The clothing and other fabric needs she created were treasured by the entire family. She spent countless hours, with a needle held in her right fingers and a thimble on one, or two, of her left fingers, stitching away to render the perfect kitchen curtains, a fashionable new dress, or a beautiful quilt. How fortunate we are today to have machines to do most of the work. How blessed to have light available twenty-four hours a day and not be limited by darkness when we want to create.
I am not really upset with Hasbro’s decision. They, like all companies, must work to stay current with their consumers in order to ensure longevity. After all, they are competing with video and virtual reality activities. If Hasbro still hopes to offer an old-fashioned, kitchen table board game, they must provide playing pieces which are identifiable to millennials. It certainly seems like more fun to “drive” a race car as you acquire property and hotels rather than dragging a silver-plated, handle-less bucket (assuming the player does not recognize a thimble) from Baltimore Avenue to Park Place.
If the truth be told, casting out the Monopoly thimble stirred in me those mostly buried feelings of inadequacy. Those thoughts which occasionally rise to the surface when I wonder if what I do really matters. How could a symbol of creativity be voted out unless most people do not value it or those who use it? Fortunately, I need only turn to the Bible to be reminded of the value of my unique abilities, which were given to me by God. Today being Pentecost Sunday, we all are called to remember our special gifts . . . “the manifestation of the Spirit,” as St. Paul so eloquently describes it. We each have value and a responsibility to share our gifts as much as possible, and not be distracted by the choices of others. They have their own roles to play.
Hearing about Hasbro’s decision also triggered memories. My thoughts traveled back to my childhood when my siblings, cousins and friends often played Monopoly. We would spend hours and hours counting our money, strategizing our next move, cheering when we collected rent and spilling off the chair in agony after losing a hotel. Rainy afternoons could not have been more fun. Sometimes I won and sometimes I lost, but I always chose the thimble, because even back then, I loved to sew!