Chess Part III: How Chess Mimics Real Life- The Power of Vulnerability

Image by S.H.CHOW via Flickr

When playing Chess, one can tell when the end is imminent when an opponent calls out “Check!”, meaning they have positioned themselves to take the most priced King. If one is trapped, and cannot wiggle out of an impossible fix, they are relegated to the position of helpless observer as they watch their best laid plans completely destroyed. They are completely and utterly vulnerable to the events that will take place. No amount of wiggling can change the outcome.

Signs preceding a negative outcome are usually imminent. The problem is they often times go ignored. In real life, just like in chess, we are vulnerable to negative events. In fact one cannot play chess unless one is willing to leave some of the pieces vulnerable to attack. The game in fact can never commence unless a move is actually made.

We are susceptible to being hurt and try as we might we cannot avoid hurts or the possibility of hurt pervading our lives.

To avoid vulnerability we try to force and bend the inevitable rather than accept the fact that vulnerability can be turned into a preparation tool for an unknown outcome.

Letting yourself be seen for what you truly are and how you truly feel, can achieve more than covering up the vulnerable human essence of yourself. Taking an absolute  (the I am right and you are wrong attitude) stance can lead to isolation where one may be beyond reach to others because there is no real humanity they can connect to.

When playing chess there are times one has to expose their vulnerable side in order to lure the opponent into making a move. This is the same in real life. We have to let our guard down:

In order to let people in

In order to let experiences in

In order to let feelings in

In order to live life

In a TED video  by Brene Brown, she talks about the human essence of vulnerability. Brown speaks to the struggles that we undertake while trying to keep ourselves protected from vulnerability, a condition that is a part of our human make up. In this video, Brene Brown asserts that there is strength in vulnerability.

6 thoughts on “Chess Part III: How Chess Mimics Real Life- The Power of Vulnerability

    1. Hello Conrad,

      I am glad you enjoyed the posts.

      I am constantly reflecting on the interconnectedness of life. Very often, most of what we do is a direct reflection of the bigger game-in which every single one of us participates- called life. It doesn’t mean that I don’t make mistakes. Believe me I have made many, but in reflection, I get the chance to decide if what I did worked or if I need to readjust my game plan.


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