Giraffes have taken over Facebook. For me it began the day before yesterday when I was blearily (is there any other morning state?) scrolling through my newsfeed. My friend Georgiann had posted:

Try the Great Giraffe Challenge!! The deal is I give you a riddle. If you get it right you get to keep your profile picture but if you get it wrong you must change your profile picture to a Giraffe and leave it there for the next 3 days. INBOX MESSAGE ME your answer so that you don’t give it away and spoil the fun.

Here is the riddle:

3:00 am, the doorbell rings and you wake up. Unexpected visitors, it’s your parents, and they are there for breakfast. You have strawberry jam, honey, wine, bread, and cheese. What is the first thing you open?

REMEMBER…..inbox message me only, DO NOT COMMENT YOUR ANSWER BELOW. Also remember if you get it wrong you must change your profile picture to a Giraffe.

‘That’s EASY,’ I thought and went to message Georgiann the (presumably) correct answer.

Guess what? I guessed wrong. I don’t want to give it away and ruin the fun, so suffice it to say that Georgiann gave me the correct answer, gleefully wrote, “GIRAFFE!” and helpfully attached a giraffe photo.

Giraffes at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Giraffes at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

‘How embarrassing!’ I thought, but still managed a laugh. Being a good sport, I duly went and uploaded a giraffe photo as my FB profile pic.

As the day went on, I noted that more and more of my friends had turned into. . . GIRAFFES! Each new sighting made me feel good inside.

You know why?

Each of those friends who went through with the bargain had proven that they were, yes, GOOD SPORTS.

(youtube screenshot)

(photo credit: youtube screenshot)

I love that. It shows integrity, honor. And yes, a sense of humor.

It bonded us somehow—marked us as the ones who go through with a promise, as the ones who back their words with deeds and are unafraid to look a bit foolish in doing the right thing.

There were some exceptions. One friend messaged me her incorrect answer and then said, “No. I won’t do this. I don’t have to giraffe.”

Another friend tried to talk me into taking down my giraffe photo. She said there was absolutely no reason in the world for keeping the photo up.

(photo credit: youtube screenshot)

(photo credit: youtube screenshot)

But she was wrong. And the more she tried to talk me into changing my photo, by telling me, for instance, that SHE doesn’t like games, the more determined I became to keep my giraffe photo up until the bitter end. Which actually isn’t bitter at all.

I like games. They keep me sharp. They make me smile. And they teach me about honor.

Honor is very important to me. It’s the reason I work for a nonprofit—Kars for Kids—that underwrites mentoring programs for children. It’s the reason I’ve worked hard at showing my 12 children how to lose a game with grace.

One friend lost her job this week. She was feeling down. She messaged me the incorrect answer (the same one we all guessed, all of us hapless giraffe people) and when I sent her the correct answer and the photo she told me it was the first time she’d laughed in “many days.”

(photo credit: youtube screenshot)

(photo credit: youtube screenshot)

And you know what? That, more than anything else, is why I’m glad I played along with this “stupid” Facebook game. It brought a smile to a friend’s face.

What could be bad?