I’ve just played a quick game of chess against the computer, and won. I needed to sacrifice a lot of my key pieces in order to win the game, and it got me thinking that perhaps the main aim of the game is still to win, but with the majority of the pieces still in play. I’m not an expert chess player or anything – I just about know which way each piece should move, and I understand the checkmate rule more than the stalemate rule, although in a way they are similar… the king can’t move!
When I had won the game, a thought came to me about the real world, and how much do we really need to ‘win’? And which chess piece would we be in relation to everyone else. Are we a little pawn, or the king or queen? Or maybe we are a rook, knight or bishop… it is difficult to choose, because in the real world so much is going on that we are in fact every piece, although at (possibly) different times.
Sometimes, we need to sacrifice a pawn part of ourselves when we cancel an idea because something of greater importance has come up. At other times, we need to promote our pawn side to a queen to take control of a situation, usually if our main queen side is already dealing with something else. Occasionally, we become a knight and leap over others around us, achieving greater things – but not in a direct route. And sometimes, we sacrifice any one of our pieces by making a wrong move. So I guess that means that the main piece within us all is the king. The king can never be ‘taken’ but can give up. Giving up is a last resort move, and there are always other options to follow before making that decision.
Getting back to the chess world for a minute, I tend to back-track if I make a move I don’t like, and make another move. I can do this against the computer, but usually I find myself in a similar situation again a few moves later. I don’t think it is as easy when in a ‘real’ chess game. Or in real life, for that matter.
The best thing to do when making a mistake in the real world is just to learn from it. Accept that the mistake was made, and move on. Try not to make the same mistake again, but if it happens again, try to learn from it again. That’s the good thing about being human; we are allowed to make mistakes. We just tend to judge ourselves a little too harshly. And others too.
Sacrificing a certain part of ourselves for the greater good is not a bad thing. Sometimes it is absolutely necessary to do so to be able to move things forward, but there is no need to sacrifice everything. No need to give up. We just need to weigh up the options and try to cross the board by a different route.
Real life isn’t a chess game, so in that respect it is much better! We still need to use strategy at times to get through certain situations, but we have far more pieces within us than what is on a chess board. We have more pieces to be able to sacrifice if needed. We have more than one king too, so if we do decide to ‘give up’ with one of them, it isn’t the end of the world. We can start again using another king!
The fun part isn’t in the winning, it is in the playing.
Yes, it is good to win, but we can’t win everything, every time. Knowing this makes losing sound a lot easier to take, and if we have fun in the process, it doesn’t matter whether we win or lose… Or draw – end up in stalemate! However things turn out, we have reached the natural end of that particular process. We may have won, we may have learned something, we may think we have made the wrong decision, we may have discovered something new about ourselves, we may have seen something in a new light, we may have given up – but we have had fun in the process up to this point, and that is the important part. Having fun = feeling good. And feeling good = winning anyway, so it doesn’t really matter when you think about it…