Playing to draw

There are no big and small men. There are no weak and powerful people. There are people with less inhibitions, there are people who feel they have nothing to lose, there are people with less restraint. But there is no one that is made of less or more than you. Our differences mean that we all make different choices and that we’re all propelled forward for different reasons. But our basic make up is factory standard. 

Inside, we are all primal creatures with desperate needs. We are all hardwired to expect imminent attack and suspect anything of treachery. We are all afraid. The one advantage that we have over any other bipedal animal is that we’ve learned how to use mind games to manipulate our environment. I can be as petrified as they come, but all I have to do is plant a seed in your mind that you’re more scared than me to defeat you before you have a chance to strike. 

Power is an illusion. It’s an energy transfer that we give and take at will all day long. Perhaps the biggest transaction that humankind partakes in, we spend every hour of the day ceding and demanding this invisible currency in order to navigate a world of mock civilization. All I must do is make you think something of yourself or alter your perception of me to make it across the chessboard and check your queen.

In the end, no one lifts a finger and everyone lives in fear. Coiled around the little control we have in the world like a sleeping dragon. We walk through life calculating every scenario and every counter attack. We weigh the consequences of our actions based on the metaphysical retaliation we may face. We worry that we’ll run into the person; what will they say and how will I best them?

Some snakes rattle, but all will flee before they fight. The same rule applies to all animals in the kingdom: they’re probably more afraid of you that you are of them. That doesn’t mean they won’t lunge when they feel like their back’s against the wall, even if they put it there themselves. It just means that you don’t have to startle when they cross your path. Their bark is a defense mechanism employed by their own fear, their bite is probably nonexistent. 

The sooner you realize that it’s all an invisible power exchange, fueled by a world that is exceedingly run on mind games, the sooner you can unplug from it. These unreal things can’t hurt you and you can’t lose to an opponent that’s playing to win if you’re playing to draw.

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