Lessons from “Survivor” and Boston Rob

Boston Rob from Survivor

Well Boston Rob won the game of Survivor last night. This is his fourth time playing the game and he played the game masterfully. He led, managed, manipulated, cajoled, created relationships with everyone, made promises that he knew he would have to break in order to win the game, he was completely genuine and real except when he lied and backstabbed in order to win the game. He was vulnerable while at the same time, and this was what was so amazing and this is what I aspire to and I am not quite there yet, he didn’t take anything personally. He was able to keep everything in the perspective of his original focus and remember that he was playing a game. Because he always held to that perspective and never took things personally he completely dominated a game where there were people younger, stronger, fitter, more manipulative and more eccentric then he was yet in some way they all ended up taking things too personally and not keeping the focus where they new it needed to be. In addition to all that something else Rob did in playing this game is he held nothing back, he through his whole heart and being into every moment he was there, into every challenge and into every conversation. I admire Boston Rob and the way he played the game.

I still feel squeamish that people got hurt and that lying, breaking agreements and promises, and misleading and misrepresenting has to happen to win the game. It makes me examine, again, what is integrity? Boston Rob was in complete integrity with his goals, missions, perspectives and purpose, he never wavered from these things. He was completely out of integrity with the agreements he made with others whenever those agreements conflicted with his goals and purpose. What is more important in the expanding consciousness of the world, living on purpose or making and keeping agreements? Ideally of course I would want to pursue both simultaneously and fully. Do I sometimes have to betray my agreements for the sake of my purpose? I would hope that if, in my passion and eagerness, I make agreements, and then I discover that they are moving me away from my purpose that I will absolutely renegotiate or break those agreements. I would hope that I would do that cleanly, courageously, and that I wouldn’t get all wrapped up in co-dependency and taking things all personally. I would also hope that I would be there to the best of my ability to clean up the mess that inevitably occurs when I break my agreements.

Finally there is something that the show Survivor and pretty much all media and even most of my beloved stories want me to do is to divide the world into me or them, good or evil, black or white. I want to recreate stories so that there is more complexity to them. I want them still to represent the hero’s journey where the hero or heroine must find their way through the conflict and challenge to the transformation. I want to stop seeing those conflicts and challenges as “bad” “them” and the hero as “good” “us”. We need to move more to an AND world and away from an OR world.

Boston Rob was a hero AND a villain, a good guy AND a bad guy. He was a complex human being and no matter how the producers of the show or the other cast members tried to twist it or maneuver the viewers to pick sides and want to make him bad OR good, he managed to defy those attempts at depiction. Good on you mano. I only hope to be able to continue to defy those who wish to simplify me and box me into this or that.

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