Strategic Living

August 22, 2017
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I have played chess since I was five years old. I still remember the day my father taught me; it was a sunny day. My father, my sister and I were outside seating under a mango tree that was in our backyard. I had always observed my father play and had always been intrigued by this complex game. At first, it was just a game, but then I started to analyze it, and as I grew up, I found life to be very similar to a game of chess. I realized that every decision has a consequence in life and in chess. Every single move has a purpose. Every single move changes the outcome of the game. The result is unknown just like our end is unknown- the only thing we know is that there is an end.

 

As I grew older, life changed and my worldview changed. I no longer had a colorful blind over my eyes, it had been replaced by reality. The reality that we only live once, the reality that all our decisions matter, the reality that there might not be a tomorrow:  the realization that all we know is that we don’t know struck me like lightning, and awakened a part of me that I was not yet aware of. Chess taught me that just as every move affects the outcome of the game, every decision affects our ends: that once you make a move it's permanent, it cannot be reversed: that I should always have a strategy because without a strategy there is no game: that I am the most valuable piece but I am also the most powerful piece in my life, just like the king is the most valuable piece in chess because the entire purpose of the game is to protect the king and defeat the opponent, and the queen is the most powerful piece because it has the ability to move freely across the board. In life, we are the most valuable piece but we are also the most powerful piece.

 

Later in my life, I learned my place in society, and I found that I was a mere pawn. At first, I felt a bit insignificant but then I realized that the pawns play an enormous role in the outcome of every game, especially if it’s between two great players. The higher pieces such as the King, the Queen, the Knight, the Bishop and the Rook need the pawns, the pawns create an unbreakable barrier that the opponent cannot cross. In society we, the citizens, are the pawns, our government is composed of the higher pieces. However, what few of us realize is that a country cannot stand without its people, just like a game cannot be won without pawns. Every piece matters, every piece is equally important in the game of life.


The game of life is not an easy one, but we must make sure that our outcome is satisfactory because it is permanent. There is no going back, the closest we are at going to the past is when we look at the sun, the sun is eight light minutes away which means that every time we look at the sun, we see the sun as it was eight minutes ago. What I am trying to say is that every move, every action we take, every thought and everything has an impact, and it is permanent. Life is a game of chess, and we all play it. Our opponent is represented by the obstacles that inhibit us from accomplishing our goals. As the player of your game, make sure that you have a strategy because, without a strategy, there is no game. Without a strategy, checkmate is inevitable. Always remember that at the end of every game all the pieces go back in the box.






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