Living up to our namesake: Global Parlez

March 25, 2021

by Maia Broadley

‘When we ‘parlay’ we open a discussion between two parties in order to reach an agreement. It was a right in the code of the Pirate Brethren acting as authority independent of any nation: beyond beliefs and borders, regardless of background and the limitations of language. By parlaying we build trust, listening sincerely to one another and allowing open communication to connect us globally.’

We’ve all been engaged in some kind of discussion. You know the way it goes: you listen to the other party, respond and vice versa.

The outcome of a discussion is never guaranteed. Sometimes you make an agreement and both sides come away feeling satisfied that their opinions and ideas were heard.

Other times you feel completely dissatisfied because no one really listened. Your opinions weren’t considered and no one stopped to reflect before they spoke.

It’s often seen as a means to state one’s own agenda and give one’s own opinions. It can feel a little more self-serving than altruistic.

From a young age we’re taught to listen and wait our turn before speaking. But the emphasis always seems to be on ‘taking turns’.

Most of us don’t really listen.

We’re on a mission to facilitate open discussions allowing all parties to feel and be heard. We ‘parlay’ like the Pirate Brethren by acknowledging that discussion is a right for all and acts as authority independent of any nation.

The blockbuster franchise ‘The Pirates of the Caribbean’ comes to mind given the history of the word ‘parlay’. But it also provides a great example of how verbal and visual communication can bridge gaps through the act of storytelling.

This pirate themed franchise has received 5 Oscar nominations and won over 38 creative awards in ceremonies all over the world. Now, I’m not trying to convince you to watch the (mis)adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow, I’m simply demonstrating the global reach of movies.*

As a medium of communication, film and TV brings people together through common interests and stories. This way of storytelling has a similar effect to parlaying: it bridges gaps between nations despite language limitations, regardless of beliefs, backgrounds and borders. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like pirate tales or even have an interest in them – it enables conversation and allows different opinions to be brought to the table.

Just as viewers connect through consuming content (films, books, photos, blogs, animations…) Global Parlez nurtures a community of global changemakers through these varied and engaging mediums of communication.

And now for a little pirate parlaying in action!

In ‘The Curse of the Black Pearl’ Elizabeth Swann uses the right to parlay to avoid immediate harm by asking to talk with the captain…

Elizabeth : Parlay!

Ragetti : What?

Elizabeth : Parlay. I invoke the right of parlay. According to the Code of the brethren, set down by the pirates Morgan and Bartholomew, you have to take me to your Captain.

Pintel : I know the code.

Elizabeth : If an adversary demands parlay you can do them no harm until the parlay is complete.

Ragetti : To blazes with the code.

Pintel : She wants to be taken to the Captain. And she’ll go without a fuss. We must honor the Code.

Parlaying relies on trust. Just as Elizabeth depends on Ragetti and Pintel to honour the code, we must depend on each other to honour and listen sincerely.

Which is why the Global Parlez community is built around trust. We believe the first step to making positive change is communication. Before we take action, we must talk and share our perspectives from all parts of the globe. And above all else, we must listen – truly listen – with the intention of understanding, acknowledging and amplifying the voices of our changemaking community.

*although the five films make for an enjoyable swashbuckling movie marathon! SOURCE: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Photo by Brett Jordan