THE text alert on my phone beeped. If it is an important text, I see either a blue or pink LED light flashing. Instead it was a red one, which meant it was a friend. I scrolled through the text and two words caught my eye — “free food”.
There was free fare at an outdoor youth event in the town centre. As I was a couch potato at that moment doing absolutely zilch, the invitation to go out sounded very good indeed. So off I went!
The minute I stepped out of the car, all I could hear was the strumming of an acoustic guitar. I headed towards the noise and found the normally bare courtyard filled with people of all ages.
I had no idea of the aim of the event so I trailed over to the waft of sizzling burger patties on the grill. True enough, there were 200 free burgers up for grabs and Papa John’s was even giving away slices of cheesy pizza.
I grabbed my burger, smothered it with ketchup and took a huge bite of the juicy, tender patty. What made it even more delicious was that I didn’t have to fork out a single cent for it!
I learnt that the event was a youth service organised by Youth Work Ireland, an agency that runs such independent activities throughout the country. The organisers were grilling burgers while sharing the details of the event with the crowd.
The place was buzzing when Limrockers, a hip hop dance crew from Limerick, began break dancing, attracting an audience.
There were trampolines for anyone to bounce on. Some people were doing amazing flips and rebounds without breaking a sweat.
Face painting was free for the children who wanted to be Batman or a beautiful butterfly princess.
For those who craved a mental challenge, there were tables set out with chess boards and timers.
Chess is not my cup of tea. I know the rules of the game but if I were to play it, I’d probably be checkmated by the third move.
What caught my eye, however, was the giant-sized chess board on the floor. One square of the board was the size of a kitchen tile. A chess piece reached my hip!
This reminded me of a cartoon where one of the characters used chess as an analogy and asked the question: “Which chess piece would you be if you based it on your own life?”
Would you be the king? You’re viewed as the most important person. However, you’re also known to be the weakest link in the team. What about the queen? You’re in second place according to rank, but you have the most power in your hands. You are the one who does everything behind the scenes.
Or you could be the rook. You have the capabilities to get to places quickly and swiftly in all directions. If there are people in your way, you will not hesitate to knock them off and take their place. Your ambition is your motivation.
Or you could be a sneaky bishop. You move in a more flexible way. You may not be viewed as highly as the rook but you’re going places surreptitiously.
The knight could be your thing too. You’re unpredictable. You move in quirky ways and no one has a good guess of your next move.
Or you could be the pawn which isn’t so worthless. You may seem like nothing much to the ones around you, but secretly they do not realise the importance of your role.
This is food for thought. I found it rather intriguing as I never thought chess could be an analogy of life.