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Jun 2014
say for example,
that you love to play baseball.
[it is your favorite thing in the world,
and you're quite good at it, too].
and before your game,
your coach says to the team,
"if we win, i'll take everybody to Pizza Hut!"
upon hearing this, the players' faces light up-
each one can taste the delicious stuffed crust that awaits them,
and visions of breadsticks dance through their heads.
the coach even brought a coupon book to allude to their possible futures...
just before the team takes the field,
the coach pulls you aside
and says,
"actually, i'm going to take the whole team to Pizza Hut
even if we lose."
well, you would know right then
that outcome of the game
is irrelevant,
but the true joy of playing
comes from competition regardless of winning or losing,
so you vow to play your best game ever.
however, everyone else on the team,
not knowing the ultimate truth,
will play very seriously,
but with great anxiety and nervousness.
they desperately want Pizza Hut,
but know that they might not getting it.
this game is the most important thing in the universe,
and it is the most serious test of all time.
every at-bat is tense for them,
each fly ball could result in ultimate damnation.
nothing is fun.
with tension and anxiety,
they strike out, play conservatively,
and don't take the risks that make the game enjoyable.
quickly, the team finds itself trailing by a few runs,
and sweating profusely because of it.

you, on the other hand,
would feel more relaxed during the game.
you would swing for the fences,
knocking a couple out of the park,
steal a base or two,
make a diving catch.
play your best game ever.
you can do this comfortably
because you realize that you're just playing for fun.
you're going to Pizza Hut after game, whatever the outcome!

soon, in your exuberance,
you'd let slip the secret to a couple other players.
you'd tell them, "guys, we were always going to Pizza Hut,
let's just have some fun while we play this game."
most of them rejoice!
[a couple real serious ones doubt you and resent you.
you'd surely smile, bend a knee, and applaud their solemnity.]
but in your state of joy you include the doubters,
and you let them believe what they will until the final innings over.
you think, they'll wake up soon enough.

with the last out made
and the last run scored,
maybe you look at the scoreboard and see yourself in the lead,
maybe you are a few runs behind,
but the smile on the coach's face says it all:
the peace and joy within you brought into your world happiness...

... and a large pepperoni pizza.
knowing what you know now, will you enjoy the game?
stéphane noir
Written by
stéphane noir
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