Saturday, October 5, 2013

It's a war out there

The Haka is a traditional war cry, dance or challenge of the Maori people of New Zealand. It is performed for various reasons, amusement, a hearty welcome of special guests, acknowledgement of great achievements or at funerals. It consists of shouting and chanting, vigorous body actions, strong facial expressions, stamping of feet and slapping of hands against the body. The New Zealand rugby team has successfully transformed this tradition more to intimidation of the enemy before every rugby match they play. The world has come to know the Haka in this manner as the fearless intimidation, show of force and challenging of rugby opponents. This seems to work for them as they dominate the rugby scene the world over. When they perform this war cry you can see the passion in their eyes and posture and hear the victory in their voices. They show no fear and no mercy at their opponents as they declare their prowess and strength as well as determination to overpower, dominate and win. Their latest Rugby Championship Match on the 5th of October 2013 was no exception as the All Blacks, as they are affectionately known played against the South African team the Springboks. They carried the passion from the Haka through their whole game and made sure they won the match. While the All Blacks won convincingly, the Springboks put up a spirited performance against the New Zealanders. As I followed the match, my thoughts shifted to how life issues sometimes intimidate and challenge us before we have even found ways to deal with them. They declare their might and strength on us before we can even work out how to tackle them, doing the Haka and looking strong and impossible to defeat before we have even started to look at ways to overcome them, and we sometimes give in and face defeat before we have tried to fight. How do you respond when the war of life visits you and does the Haka? When it shouts, shakes you up and slaps you while showing no mercy and stamping all over you? Do you cower, give in and lose all hope without a fight, or do you shout back with your own war cry of victory and success through a well thought out plan of getting out of that situation. Refusing to be intimidated and crowded out by situations that may not be all that powerful and over which you may even be stronger? Just a thought I wanted to leave to get you working on your Haka which you may after all need. A plan of action for the times when life comes hard on you and it seems there is no way out. When putting up a fight is the only way out. Have your own Haka ready always and have a great week ahead!!

Image adapted from NZ Defence Force