A King’s Duty

“Queen to D-6.”


And I had won my first chess competition. Pride burst into me as I let out a guttural “Yeah!” I’d hardly practiced, and still won it. I hadn’t been expecting too, but I had. It was my lucky day.

Immediately when I came home, I urged my parents to sign me up for some more competitions. I figured I should play in as many competitions as I can before my luck runs out. My parents asked if I wanted to take some lessons, but I declined. I’d won my last competition without much practice, and I probably shouldn’t shake that routine.

The queen has always been my favorite piece. It’s versatile, and more importantly, it can get to its goal in one swift, effortless move. That’s why I dislike the King. It’s supposed to be the leader, and yet it’s endearingly slow. I don’t know what the inventors were thinking.

I flinched as the bell rung. Thus began the first day of high school. I looked at my schedule and found the way to homeroom. They said the usual things about us having to work harder now that we’re in high school. “I’ll just do whatever it takes to get to an A,” I thought.

Turns out I ended the year with grades that all roamed around the 89.5% range, which was the cut-off for an A. Some grades were a bit lower; some were a bit higher. I dismissed them, thinking I’d just work just a bit harder next semester and get all As. Turns out my grades just kept declining. And I hadn’t done too well in my chess tournaments either.

I went into English class one school day feeling depressed about everything. I didn’t know why my luck had made such a bad turn. We were reading Macbeth, by Shakespeare, which was a book about a noble, named Macbeth, who stages a coup d’etat to usurp the throne. At first, Macbeth is a hard working, loyal person. He fights hard and dutifully in his wars and is compensated graciously by King Duncan.
Then one day, after a meeting with some witches, Macbeth decides to stage a coup d’etat by killing the king. He does succeed in killing the king in one fell swoop, and does become king, but his mind is completely corrupted and he goes nearly insane. He also doesn’t live for long, as one of the king’s allies later succeeds in avenging Duncan by killing Macbeth.
Something struck a chord with me. Macbeth had tried to attain glory through one decisive action of assassinating Duncan. Rather than staying loyal and fighting hard to attain glory, he took the effortless way to the throne, the easy road.
Then, with a deafening noise, I realized that this was me. I was Macbeth. I was just like him. I always tried to take the effortless way into things, and almost always ended up stooped in failure. I couldn’t depend on luck to help me throughout the way. I needed to make a conscious effort to reach my goal, and to achieve more than my goal.
I needed to be the king that slowly but surely arrives at his success.

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