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Filtering by Category: Matthew Staples

Respect and Disrespect

Matthew Staples

by Matthew Staples

In competitive fighting games, the words respect and disrespect have odd connotations.

To play respectfully is to play conservatively – you respect your opponent’s ability, and thus are focused above all on avoiding their traps and gambits.

Respect in fighting games is passive and reactive. When taken too far, it results in a playstyle based entirely out of a fear of adversity and failure, fear that your own commitments will be your downfall.

Disrespect, though, is pure confidence. You don’t respect the idea that your opponent has the ability to counter you. It is a complete trust in your decision-making, trust that your plans – whether meticulously crafted or entirely instinctual – will win out no matter what your opponent throws at you.

When a player is playing disrespectfully, they’re either going to crash and burn spectacularly or put on one of the best shows that fans have ever seen.

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Maybe I Am Enough

Matthew Staples

by Matthew Staples

Shame is toxic, it spreads everywhere.

That’s the problem with the way Christians talk about sin and the cross. We focus our attention on our unworthiness. My sins hurt God.

Why do we talk that way?

I have never met anyone who needed to be reminded that they’d failed. That they’re a failure. That they just aren’t enough. We know. We already know.

Here’s how this works in real life: I’m an engineering student. At the start of the semester, I don’t visit my professors during office hours because I want to show them that I’m not going to waste their time unless I have a really good question. I can work through my own problems. Then I screw up an assignment. I fail.

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Pulse and Balance

Matthew Staples

by Matthew Staples

A drum circle is fundamentally a listening exercise.

As the drummers play together, a pulse emerges, a pattern that they are all following. Once this pulse has been established, things get interesting. Some drummers will want to build on the pulse, playing around or in answer to what they hear, which eventually shifts the pulse to something new, maybe something exciting. Others prefer to rest in the foundation of the established pulse.

The thing is, an effective drum circle needs both—in fact it thrives off of the dialogue between where we are and where we are going. If everyone stays with the pulse, the drum circle becomes repetitive and stagnant. But if everyone tries to push ahead, the group loses clarity and becomes chaotic. The power of the drum circle's sound is in the common beat that grounds it. It only works if we all enter in with what we have and contribute as we can.

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