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Playing Chess in a Hypermarket

image Life is a story. The actors might change, but the story seldom does.

Once upon a time, He and Somebody (whom sometimes likes to be called himself) went shopping.

He and Somebody had their own plans and objectives.

He wanted to have a respectful life regardless of the money he makes.

Somebody wanted to make money regardless of his life.

Like everyone else, they must enter this specific hypermarket,

He asked for the rules. He learned that ‘Chess Rules Apply’

Somebody, on the other hand, chose not to ask about the rules. Somebody thought himself can play his own rules.

Both entered the hypermarket. Lo and behold the hypermarket’s floor was designed just like the chessboard – large black and white squares positioned alternately with corners touching each other.

He decided to shop for compassion, courage, integrity, respect, forgiveness. He was looking primarily for Reason.

Somebody, on the other hand, did not care about Reason. Good or evil were meaningless to him. For him good and evil were just mere ideas without foundation in reality. For Somebody the best goods to shop for were arrogance, exploitation, separatism, disregard, negativity, rudeness, and unreliability.

He chose to walk always on the white square of this huge chess mat covering the whole hypermarket. He felt good and proud. He could look at everyone in the eyes. He could even see what was underneath and above him. He could see beyond himself. His constant smile made everyone smile at him in return.

Somebody, on the other hand, did not care where his steps led him. Somebody did not notice, however, that himself always seemed to step on the black squares. Somebody did not look at people’s eyes. Somebody just grabbed things that he wanted. Somebody did not hear the children’s cry. Somebody did not notice the other people’s surprise. Somebody’s eyes never left the floor. Somebody only cared about what Somebody wanted.

Somebody never heard the music playing, whose constant refrain was:

Life is a hypermarket,
The rules of chess apply
If you touch it you take it
There is no option to try

He and Somebody did not realize that they had been shopping for years. He looked at his shopping cart. It was filled with friends. A wife and a happy family were looking up with smiles and laughter. His journey through the hypermarket had its ups and downs. Choices had to be made. However He was a believer. With Reason he looked for ways to overcome obstacles without hurting anyone else. He was a good chess player. He reflected on all of the possible steps to take. He anticipated the results of his steps. When he passed by the problems aisle, he stopped to reflect and understand. He used the problems to learn, to become wise, and share what he learned with the other shoppers.

Somebody similarly looked at the shopping cart before him. Somebody likewise had friends who were noisy and rowdy. Somebody did not really know them. All that Somebody cared about was these people: the gang that worked for him in getting what he wanted. Somebody saw his wife and children but they appeared like strangers to him. Somebody saw no smiles on their faces nor laughter from their lips. Ah, but he had shopped for a mistress, who looked up to him from the cart with a seductive smirk and an outstretched hand. Somebody did not really care.

It was time for He and Somebody to leave the hypermarket. There was only one exit and only two cashiers. He took the exit on the right side while Somebody took the left.

The cashier greeted He with a smile and started to punch on the POS machine. Great was the joy of He when the cashier told him that He need not pay from his pocket. He had earned discounts and rewards for the goods that he chose. He even was not fined for the small oversights and extra services he tried to taste.

Somebody on the other side had to dig deep into his pocket and wallet to pay for everything that he placed on the cart. Somebody was fined for the goods himself took and dropped on the floor. Somebody did not receive any discount or rewards. Somebody left the hypermarket poor, wanting, and sad.

Somebody looked at He with envy. As they were leaving the cashier, Somebody asked He how did he earn all those discounts and rewards, while himself, Somebody, was even fined and now had no more money even for his transport home.

He looked at Somebody and whispered: If you had just asked and listened you would have realized that the rules of chess apply in the hypermarket of life!

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