Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Breaking through Barriers

When I was little, I played a game on the playground with my friends. It was called Red Rover. Maybe you played it too. Basically, you chose up even teams, and each side would line up, arms grasping arms, overlapping , creating a wall, or barrier of children. Two sides, two barriers of children, on either side of the playing field, facing each other. The goal of the game was to have the strongest held barrier wall. Each side took turns, allowing one person from each side, or team, to run full speed, directly at the opposing barrier wall of linked people in an attempt to break through the grasp of those tightly held arms, thereby breaking the chain in half. 

If the chain isn't broken, then the player changes teams, linking up with them.  The competition  ends when the last person comes to the opposing team, and what's left is one lone barrier wall. 

It all begins with an Invitation. 
The first team chants loudly, "Red Rover Red Rover, let Billy (or Bobby, or Suzy...) Come over! " And they brace themselves for his arrival, trying not to let him break into their chain, their team, their tribe. Inevitably, the chain will be broken, and like it or not, the team whose chain is broken, loses a player  to the opposing team. The teams are now lopsided. The team with fewer players now has an opportunity to break the opposing team's chain. The game continues until, there is one person left. And the invitation's called. "Red Rover, Red Rover, let Terry come over!" In the end, all of the children end up on the same team, the same side. 

In order to get the game going, someone has to take the initiative to suggest the game be played. The second child who agrees to play - he or she makes the first child's idea OK. Without the second child, there would be no game.

Others will be more likely to accept the invitation to play if Two are already committed. 

The game requires an even number of children, and the more the better.  with only a few children, the game is soon over.
 Everyone has permission to invite more players. The whole playground is a source. All of the children on the playground can play. The More who are willing to join, the more additional children will join. 

That's the power of an invitation. Whatever it is that you're doing, or enjoy, or know in your heart is inherently good, you have the opportunity to give an invitation to others to join you. They may or may not know how, they may or may not have the confidence. You may or may not know how, you may or may not have the confidence- They may or may not have the courage. 

But if YOU have the courage to offer an invitation, 
the likelihood of inspiring the creation of a team increases. 

Alternate interests and alternate skill sets may only seem like barriers. But with an invitation, there is no such thing as competition, really. Because even tho it may seem we are on opposing teams,
We are on the same team.

It all begins with an Invitation. 
And the Courage to offer it. 

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