Friday, November 24, 2006

Gotta love the Amazing brothers Cho. The epitome of kindness and courtesy on the Amazing Race 10. They're the guys who played the game 'differently', forming an alliance with the weaker teams, sacrificing their own advantages to boost their friends' chances of survival.

They usually finished their tasks first but would wait for the other teams, gather everyone together, share their info and plan some kind of group strategy before moving on. They even gave up a lead they had to a team which without their help would have been eliminated for sure.

This gameplan of the Chos makes good sense in that if the Alliance could eliminate the stronger teams in the Race, then the brothers would face a much reduced competition towards the finish line.

The problem was, they didn't know when to draw the line between social grace and survival. They simply didn't do their math properly in this week's installment. Last place was between them and their final surviving ally. Yet instead of taking the early lead, they chose to wait for the mothers, intending to -- what? Cross the finish line together???

It is no surprise that the mothers ditched them and found their own way to the Pitstop, arriving 2nd last. The mothers know how to play the survival game. The Chos are out. And I'm not at all sympathetic.

Oddly enough, in todays Life! interview, the Chos have the impression that S'poreans are just as nice and polite as they are, if not more so. They haven't been reading our 'papers, lately so full of gripes about how spoilt we are about public transport, how blase we are about littering, how we need another Courtesy Campaign 'cos we don't say 'please' and 'thank you'.

Looks like S'poreans have it backwards. We think it's all about survival while forming cooperative alliances doesn't make sense to us. Social graces take a backseat as we charge ahead with our 'winner take all' neurosis.

Life isn't the Amazing Race. Our species thrives on cooperative endeavour. So yes, we do have a lot to learn from the Chos' game. But there are also times when survival does become a factor. We need to know how to recognize that point, cut our losses and let our self-preserving instincts take over. We're no good to anybody if we're dead.

No comments: