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Okechukwu Ofili: What Terrorists Can Learn From A Single Table Tennis Rally [The Trent Voices]

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So unless you have been living under a rock, then you would have probably heard about the awesome 41-shot rally (which I did not verify but BBC said it … so I believed it) between Nigeria’s Segun Toriola and Singapore’s Ning Gao at the recently concluded 2014 commonwealth games.

But if indeed you were living in Aso Rock under a rock and you have not seen the video and all its awesomeness, then check it out below:

The video has understandably gone viral. Major blogs and TV stations have played that rally over and over again and you can see why. It is inspiring, this is a man that is on the defensive but keeps fighting back as his opponent attacks and attacks till his opponent makes a mistake and hits his shot wide off the table … throwing the crowd into a frenzy.

But what a lot people don’t notice is that Segun Toriola at the start of the rally is actually 2 games down. Not only that he would eventually go on to lose the match to Ning Gao 2 games to 3. And this is interesting, because when we watch the rally we are not concerned with what has happened before the rally and neither are we concerned with what happened after the rally. What we are concerned with is that rally. Why is that important? Why does it matter? and What can we learn about this?

When you look at global conflicts across the globe you realize that we already know who the winners are on paper. We know that Russia will defeat Ukraine, we know that ISIS will beat the Kurds and that Israel will defeat the Palestine’s. It is obvious because the gap in military strength and finances in all the scenarios above is wide. But sometimes it is never really about who can win the war, but rather who can win the crowd. Think about that.

Segun’s rally is fascinating and viral not because he won the match and not even because he won the rally but because he won the crowd. And when you win the crowd, the crowd will root for you, the crowd will fight for you and the crowd will strive to share your moment, so much so that it overshadows everything else.

The latest July 2014 Gallup poll shows American’s support for Israel is on a slight decline as more and more young Americans are now shifting their support to Palestine. And this is because the Palestine’s started winning the crowd war when pictures of Israel bombing innocent children began surfacing.

Similar thing happened in Ukraine when Russian backed rebels shot down an innocent passenger plane killing everyone on-board thus catalyzing mass sanctions against Russia from Europe. And then finally we have the Kurd’s … who won the crowd when gruesome videos of ISIS beheading children came out. So gruesome that America could not sit back and watch and had to take action with targeted airstrikes against ISIS.

And this is what we and even terrorist’s can learn from that rally and that is that winning the crowd is a very crucial strategy in winning an un-winnable war.

The moment you win the crowd by fighting a just war, by not beheading children treating enemies with respect and dignity, by not kidnapping school girls respecting people even in disagreement … you find that you have a greater chance to win the war without even throwing a single stone!

Okechukwu Ofili is an author, speaker, and blogger and a The Trent Elite Voice. Follow him on twitterFacebook or subscribe to his blog for more honest talk and as @ofilispeaks on instagram for more sketches! To bring Ofili to your school or organization as a speaker simply go here. His third book How Intelligence Kills was published in December 2013, order it at https://bit.ly/intelligencekills.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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