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Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Invisible Road- The Sunday Collage

I'm bringing back the collage. I think I am capable of writing one decent or insightful piece each week and sharing it. The old Sunday Collage was simply a collection of observations and thoughts- things that happened to me as I went about my small, petty, and meaningless life each week. A few of the Sunday blogs were pretty good, many of them sucked.

First off- a funny story from last night.

There wasn't a doubt in my mind that American Pharoah would win the Belmont Stakes and thus the triple crown yesterday. There is an absolute dearth of competition in the 3 year old horse racing world this year. I made that observation while watching Dortmund set leisurely and uncontested fractions in the Kentucky Derby. He should have had plenty of energy left  for the stretch drive but he simply folded up shop and finished 3rd. This was an undefeated horse. After the Kentucky Derby- American Pharoah stomped the competition at the Preakness. He won the Belmont by at least five open lengths.

At odds of 3/5, I'm just not interested in betting 200 bucks to win 120. So I passed the race yesterday and played cards instead. No limit Hold Em.

I'd like to tell you about an interesting hand and a little fun that I had with it. I have a friend I have been playing cards with for at least 20 years. He is 73 and deaf as a stump. He is a very funny guy, always laughing and flapping his gums. I enjoy playing with him. Anyway, he is sitting on my left yesterday. I am playing pocket 8's. During the hand and just after the flop, I catch a third 8, which makes my hand pretty strong. I bet 20 bucks into this pot and I get three callers- along with my friend Darrell. On the turn, the last 8 arrives and that card makes my hand unbeatable. I bet 20 bucks, Darrell goes all in, and some goofy kid goes all in as well. I am thinking what in the hell do they think they have?

So when the action gets to me, I kind of hem and haw, like I am pondering what to do. I wonder out loud whether to fold or not- and then I say " Well, I gotta see what you guys have." I call. I don't remember what the last card was and it didn't matter anyway. When Darrell turns over his hand, he has nothing. I started laughing while telling him that a 10 high busted nothing is not going to get the chips. The goofy kid just mucks his hand and leaves the game. Darrell says repeatedly that he misread his hand while he buys more chips. I am trying to tease him but he is so deaf that I don't think he can hear me. Most of the fun of playing poker, I think, is that I get a chance to tease these goofballs once in awhile and have some fun. I can't do that when they are deaf. Maybe I will buy Darrell a hearing aid. Switching gears....quickly...

Maybe it's our tribal nature or maybe we're just not as fully evolved as we should be.

Right now, in America, there is not a more hated class of people than police officers. It has become an epidemic. It would be rather easy for any sort of real leader to step up and stop this insane hatred but squandering opportunities seems to be our President's real legacy. Obama needs to find his way.

For years, I was in awe and quite literally dumbstruck- at the absolute inability of our society to take personal responsibility for their mistakes and irresponsible actions. Rather than accept responsibility, our society blames everything on something else. Gone are the days when the sad, simple truth about any given mistake was that you had nobody to blame but yourself. And why not? We have an entire class of professional enablers, crappy parents, lawyers, clinicians, co-dependent friends, none of whom are paid to tell you what you need to hear- instead they are paid to tell you what you want to hear. It's not your fault.

What a bunch of shit. You can't possibly become a better human being until that aha moment arrives, that moment when the clouds part, and God himself says, "You are the biggest problem in your life- quit blaming everyone else."

I am weary of every class of people whining about how bad they have it. The Indians are still blaming us for stealing their land. The blacks are still waiting for reparations for slavery. Women whine because they aren't paid what men make. The hispanics whine because they think they should be entitled to illegally cross our borders and receive every benefit that the citizens of this country have already paid for. They feel discriminated against. The younger generations think the boomers screwed them, the boomers think the younger generations are filled with idiots. The 99% hate the 1%.The old white guys think we're the only unprotected class and we get picked on. Obama thinks Fox is out to get him.

And millions of Americans think cops are the problem. Are you starting to see where I am going with this?

My very best moment arrived when it dawned on me that the biggest problem in my life had always been me. As much as I took responsibility for my decisions, I had rationalized away some of  my other poor decisions. I saw that as an opportunity. I can work and fix me. I can't fix the Indians, the blacks, women, millenials, or even some drunk. But I might be able to change the way I see things and improve the way I live. Until you get that piece of information and truly buy in- your road here, the really happy one, is invisible. It is not available to you. You will wander aimlessly, blaming others and squandering your gifts and your life, consumed with hatred, jealousy and contempt for the people you think are doing better than you. It's a sickness.

The worst part about our culture right now- is that they have no instruction and no leadership. I like to use President Obama because he is such a perfect example of what I am talking about and he is our chief law enforcement officer- the alleged head of the executive branch. Obama can't find the invisible road. He is busy blaming the GOP, Congress, Fox News, everyone but himself for his problems. That's all he cares about- himself and protecting his image. The dude is completely unconscious. It's a weird thought but I almost hope that Obama never discovers that he was his own, worst problem. I can't imagine having to spend the rest of my life knowing that not only was I the problem- but had I discovered that fact while I was still President and in a position to lead people- I could have inspired a nation to take responsibility and helped heal it's people. Instead, I made it worse. That's a lot of guilt to carry around.

Sometimes, I think, there might be a few folks who are better off not knowing what might have been.