As “Survivor – Heroes Versus Villains” wrapped up this past Sunday evening many, including me, were glued to our TV sets to find out what happens in the end. Who will outwit, outplay, outlast all others and gain the title of sole Survivor and a hefty cheque for one million dollars?
I hope I’m not spoiling anything by saying that the ultimate villain, Russell Hantz, did not win the game and instead wound up in third place having received not a single vote from his jury of so-called peers. When asked by Jeff Probst in the reunion show if Russell considers the ‘end game’ when voting out potential jurors, Russell became completely tongue-tied. Boston Rob gratefully stepped in at this point stating that Russell does not play to win, he only plays to play.
Russell, a self-proclaimed huge fan of the show, having played two seasons of Survivor back-to-back used a strategy employed by the infamous first Survivor, Richard Hatch. Deception and trickery coupled with alliances won to begin this game, why shouldn’t the same game plan work 20 seasons later?
As much as the show has evolved in implementing Exile Island, hidden immunity idols and innovative challenges, the social game itself has also changed. No longer are fellow played duped into respecting someone for playing a hard game; they also have to play by some unspoken rules of common decency. No blind-siding, be loyal to your alliance members, and no name-calling. Winning a few challenges helps, too… just as long as you don’t win too much.
In the game of life, how do you play? Do you play to win at all costs, disregarding loyalties and stepping on others on the way up the ladder of success? Or do you celebrate the wins of those around you, knowing that sharing in someone’s happiness is better than harbouring jealousy?
Matthew 16:26 says What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?
Russell Hantz will most likely appear in a future episode and is determined to win the title of sole Survivor. For a man determined to forfeit everything, do you think he ever has a chance of winning?