Saturday, December 10, 2011

What makes a real Survivor

What is a survivor... For you, who are reading this blog, my guess is your are thinking Cancer Survivor. But for a large portion of America, the word Survivor means something else. It means that person who outwitted, outplayed and outlasted the last contestant on the show of the same name to stand at the finale collecting a check for a million dollars.

I have watched this TV show on and off since the beginning when Richard Hatch who outwitted the competition to win the million. He also later spent time in prison for tax evasion. It may seem to most of us the people who succeed on this show are sneaky, unworthy, low lives who do not deserve the attention much less that kind of money. But the show does have lessons and I think it a worthwhile exercise to take a look at a few of these.

SKILL - Ozzie (never won) Certainly there has been people good at challenges, but none come close to Ozzie. And he knows it. The problem with Ozzie is he is blinded by his own ability to maneuver the game, and inevitably he is blind sided while he is admiring how well he plays.

TRICKERY - Russell (never won) He could be the most hated on the show, but somehow people follow along with his game. They become his pawns, and while he is admiring his skill, he finds people will award the money to the least of two evils. Since he is so evil he has lost a couple. Richard Hatch (won) the first winner. He lied to everyone and everyone believe whatever he said to them.

HONOR and COURAGE - Fireman Tom (won ), Ethan, Cancer survivor (won) These two players were honest, fair and honorable. They won anyway. Ethan in Particular has done some incredible things to benefit others since his time on Survivor. He also battled Cancer.

INTELLIGENCE - Yul Kwon (won) former attorney and current TV host. He played an intelligent game and won. Others have tried to think their way to the million, Yul actually did it.

COLLABORATION - Coach (Has not won yet)He is a little strange this one. The "dragon" slayer has in the current Survivor built a team around his high brow zen like attitude. But how real is he????

LUCK - Tina (won because Colby made a bad move)Quiet nice Tina was taken to the final tribal counsel by Colby the Cowboy who had outplayed her..but unfortunately he must have not outwitted her, because they picked Tina as the millionaire.

FLYING UNDER THE RADAR - Vecepia (she won because people didn't want other to win!)She was pretty down low during the show, until the final show where she basically won by default.
ALL AROUND - Sandra (won 2) Here's another one who laid low, played strategically, wasn't a physical threat, but was aware and made moves when she needed to. To win 2 times makes her the ultimate Survivor Survivor.

But that my friends is the making of a TV show. It's different in the REAL Survivor world. Ethan may understand that. He has had his Hodgkin's Lymphoma has returned. He had already undergone a stem cell transplant and chemotherapy and now will be getting "smart" chemotherapy targeting the cancer cells only and a second stem cell transplant from a different family member.

This is one battle that isn't a game. It is very real.


Check out the survivors you may recognize listed on wikipedia.

I am still blown away by having had the honor of standing with these survivors - each representing one of these qualities. I would far rather stand with them than Richard Hatch and that is for sure.... But Ethan, that's a different story.