One day I was walking with a friend past a playground full of toys.   An odd thing about the playground was it was attached to the psychology building of a University.  A friend explained to me that it was a playground set up by the psychology department to study child behavior.  Being a skeptic, I wondered whether the psychology department would learn anything of value by watching kids play. 

Months later I was walking by the same playground and noticed that there were only two children in it.  Even though the playground was full of toys the two children were fighting over a steering wheel set in a granite block.  Why did the kids fight instead of playing with different toys?   There were many toys in that playground that were arguably more exciting than a steering wheel set in a granite block.  If we call the two boys Bobby and Joey and assume that Joey was playing with the steering wheel first I think Bobby probably thought the following.

That steering wheel must be really good because Joey is playing with it.   I'll bet it's better than all the toys.  Why should Joey have all the fun?   I want to play with it.  I'm going to go and play with the steering wheel.   Hey Joey won't let me play with it.  Joey is being mean.  It's my steering wheel.

How many fights have been fought between adults who think that way?   How many wars have been fought over land by adults who think that way?


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