Five Life Lessons to Learn From The Queen’s Gambit Netflix Series
*This article may contain spoilers
The Queen’s Gambit is a Netflix miniseries that focuses on the life of an orphaned chess prodigy Elizabeth “Beth” Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) as she rises to the top in a man’s game while struggling with drug and alcohol dependency.
Just like chess, people can sometimes be in a position where they can either be a pawn, the one being sacrificed for the benefit of all, the king, the one being protected at all cost, or the queen, the all powerful one with all the moves that can break or make the game. In real life however, it’s our choice to be a pawn, king, or the queen.
It’s Your Choice In the End
Beth’s biological mother ended her life when her husband had another family. The same thing happened to her foster mother later on when her mom’s new lover became unfaithful. Both women made a choice to end their lives than start a better one. Beth on the other hand, kept moving forward. She showed strength and focused on her game right after every person that surrounds her fails and fails her. She had a few wrong choices, but she kept going and standing up. The perfect quality of the queen piece in chess.
It’s our choice in the end. People around us will have bad or poor choices that could eventually affect our lives. Their poor choices could make our lives worse at some point, but in the end it would be our choice to end it all or to keep moving and start a better one. Think like a queen.
You Don’t Play Alone
Beth learned to be independent at very young age. She kept excelling without the help of other people, but her dependence was on a drug that could make her think and perform better. In the end however, she allowed her friends to help her and it brought her freedom and satisfyingly won over the world’s champions.
We don’t play alone. As women, we try to be as independent as possible, not wanting the help of men or other women to prove that we can do it. It doesn’t work that way. Winning is sweeter when we have someone to celebrate it with in the end. Let us allow people to help us achieve our goals in life. Allow them to take part of what we are doing and celebrate with them in every win.
Accepting Loss is a Strength and Not a Weakness
One of the most impressive attitude of chess players is that they humbly accept defeat. From the man who taught Beth how to play chess, Mr. Shaibel, to the world’s champion, Burgov. They all accepted defeat in a dignified approach. Beth’s friends, whom she all defeated even helped her win.
When we accept our loss, we accept that a new game awaits, but this time, we carry in the new game all our learnings from the past games. Accepting loss is not a sign of weakness, but it is a sign of strength that we can keep standing up after every loss.
Listen to the Right People
One of Beth’s qualities that helped her to keep moving is that she ignores all the negative things that people tell her. She doesn’t give much attention whether people say “it can’t be done” or “you’re not going to make it.” She usually keeps a straight face and continues on her way. She, however, listens to the right people. Her friend Jolene helped her get back to her feet when she was at her worst.
We will hear many negative things around us, but we must be very careful to filter by looking at the person who is talking. Did she mean it to put you down? To protect you? To help you? Assess where she is coming from with her words and decide from there where to take her advice or not.
Find Family Beyond Blood Lines
Most of the characters in The Queen’s Gambit are from broken relationships and families; Jolene and Beth were from an orphanage, Beth’s moms came from bad relationships, etc., but these characters have somehow found a sense of family in the people they meet.
As expats, we can all relate to this scenario. We don’t have our families here, but we have somehow found new ones in the form of our colleagues, new friends, and the people in our organizations. It’s about time to be a family to them. Share them the love that God has given us and let this love break every division whether belief, gender, race, age, and personality. Just be a family to them especially at a time like this.
The miniseries includes 7 episodes, some watched it in one sitting, I, personally took months to finish it because I found it a bit depressing at some point, maybe the overall tone of the series felt like that because the setting was in the year 1950s to 1960s, plus the music and the series of this happening to Beth were a combination of high and low emotions.
The chess game itself was exciting. If you are fond with chess, the moves of each player will really excite you and give a lot of suspense. This series gave rise to the demand of chess boards globally and many people got interested into playing chess once again.
Another thing that glued many women to this series is the fashion style of Beth. Her clothings went along with her rise to power and it showed as she started showing up later in matches dressed in glamorous clothing that defied the norms in the chess world as people used to associate fashion with vanity and did not fit a woman chess player who has a higher mind, but she had both and showed that a person can be both intellectual and fashionable.
So, there it is. If you are looking for a new series that does not reach 5 seasons to finish, here’s something interesting to watch.