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fighting for Queen and Country

June 15, 2011

From the throats of those who watch comes a sound that gives voice to the words that you are not ready to hear, for they know something that you only suspect. Something that you are not willing to admit to yourself let alone to others.

For Queen and Country!

You don’t hear words like that very often these days. I think we should. There is something about battle that draws out the best in a person.

Of course you don’t have to be fighting for your Queen or King or President – when there is enough “at stake” just going into battle for your local football team is enough.

There is something significant, something primal, about striding out onto the field battle on behalf of a crowd of people who are supporting you, who want to see you win.

They want you to give your all, to give 110%. For they know that when you think you have given everything you have to the cause … there is always something more that you can give.

For the spectator though it is easy. The spectator is just one safe in the crowd. For them it is ‘us against them’ without the risk. Our team against theirs without the need to train.  “WE won! We WON!” they cry as they walk away from the battlefield invested only in the colours of those who fought on their behalf.

They share in the victory having invested very little of themselves in the game.

For those who are on the field, the experience is a very different one.

An individual experience. You stand alone and ultimately, while you might be surrounded by your team, you are fighting alone for something that you have personally invested in. For Queen or Country. For State or Team.

I think what makes the difference is the magnitude of your vision. It depends on what is at stake.

During the Samurai Game we invite you to play the game as if your very life depended on it.  If you cannot invest in that vision you might need to play for something bigger – to play as if the life of someone you love depended on it.

That is a lot to have at stake. 

It is a vision of something greater than yourself and that is the key.

When the stakes are high enough you discover that the crowd is right. When you think you have given everything you have to the cause … there is always something more that you can give.

What are you going into battle for? What is your vision for your life?

Is it of something greater than yourself? Or are you just watching – a face in the crowd?


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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth Stubberfield permalink
    June 15, 2011 2:13 pm

    Paul, an inspiring blog this week; provokes alot of thought about
    – what is possible when you have a stake
    – the real ‘stakes’
    – our ability to achieve greatness… we can always acheive it, when we choose to !!

    • June 15, 2011 7:34 pm

      Thanks Beth. Your comment about the real “stakes” got me thinking. Sometimes having a lot at stake can be paralyzing because you feel like you have too much to lose. Equally it can inspire you. Sometimes though I wonder if we let ourselves believe that the stakes are higher than they really are so that we have a reason not to try…

  2. June 15, 2011 5:30 pm

    Powerful and persuasive call to action for the bigger game Paul, and written so well.

  3. KVF permalink
    June 15, 2011 6:27 pm

    an enjoyable, interesting and thought provoking read as usual

  4. Megan permalink
    June 16, 2011 8:54 am

    It’s interesting – I have thought about this recently, quite a bit. I noticed (yesterday, in fact) that I have been unconsciously plonking my bum squarely on the bench, complaining that I’m not in the game. Two-fold are my excuses for not entering the arena… 1. noone told me I was a valuable part of the team (boo hoo, poor me!) and 2. I did not feel as though someone with my skills/experience could even be considered a “valued” member of the team.

    Yesterday I realised that I was the one excluding myself from the game. I had loads of reasons… I don’t fit / I don’t have anything of significance to offer/ they didn’t invite me / etc. But the one thing that I have gained from sitting on the bench, is that I have a view of the full game. I can see the goals, the opportunities, the risks … I can see the other team’s tactics and can figure out their strategy. Until I get into the game – I can’t make a judgement on whether they are sensible, tricky, easy wins, or just silly!

    Now I need to take the observations that I have learned from sitting on the bench, and take them into the trenches. I’m not sure if I’m equipped appropriately – but I’m sure as hell not going to find out so long as i stay on the bench. So, here ‘we’ go!

    • June 16, 2011 6:29 pm

      Interesting that you raise the issue of sitting on the sidelines. The Samurai Game includes within the game design a way for people who for whatever reason feel that they do not want to be “in the game” to watch from the sideline. As you point out there is as much potential there to learn about yourself and others as there is if you are in it.

      In the context of my original post though, I think the difference is that you are not a spectator so much as someone who choses not to be on the field. It is an important distinction because it connects you much closer with the team – your team. If they are ‘winning’ you could be a part of that if you just got off the bench, if they are losing is it because you are not on the field? (For the pure spectator they know they are never going to be on the field.) Your conclusion is the one I have seen people come to after sitting on the sidelines of the Samurai Game – they want to get in there once they realise there is only one thing holding them back – themselves!

      Thanks for a thought provoking comment.


  1. you are right I am wr… wr… wrong « finding my own Way

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