Want to appreciate military history? Or just life in general? Try playing paintball. You will see “bullets” flying at you. It will make your heart race. You will get shot, a lot. You might get a bruise. The best part is, you won’t die. It is perhaps the “realest” make believe you can engage in. I tried it for the first time last week and got blasted in the face, arms, finger, shoulder, leg, and butt. I had 9 lives and 900 laughs.
During game time, the opposing teams are enemies and the players feel a degree of aggression. In the field of play, it is best to let your rounds remain anonymous. There is no time for chatter. The mask can’t come off. The action must continue. But off the field, it was nothing but jokes and laughter as we reflected on how each round played out.
“Who shot me in the back?”
“Hey, that was me that shot you in the face!”
“Awww man, you got me in the leg. That one is going to leave a bruise for sure!”
Let’s apply this to life. Suppose there is a hereafter. I wonder – will we have a similar post game analysis? Will we let our guard down? Will we laugh at how we won or lost? Will we realize that the “round” that struck us right between the eyes – wasn’t that serious after all? How would knowing you are not really dead-dead change the way you interact with others? Might this lead to 9,000 random confessions?
“Hey, I was the one who stole your car.”
“I was the one who lied to you.”
“That was me who started that rumor.”
THE CHALLENGE: If the actions of another human being are debilitating you, STOP! It might just all work out in the end.
Photo by Clauzemberg Jardim