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Personal Development

Possession is 9/10th of the Law… if you want it.

My friend Tom has a wooden canoe he built over 20 years ago.  It hangs magnificently from his garage ceiling where it’s been for many years.  He also had a boat which, despite being meticulously crafted from mahogany, he sold for much less than I’d expected.  “No one wants this stuff anymore,” he said.

He’s right.  My sons and their friends only want things that they use regularly, and that they can easily store in their small homes.  Photos of great, great grandparents?  That’s nice, but no thanks.  Family heirloom furniture?  There’s nowhere to keep it.

It occurs to me that while I purchase things TO LAST, my sons purchase things expecting they will serve their purpose and then be replaced.  A phone, a surfboard, a truck, hiking boots.  Even most new clothing and furniture is designed to be trendy and temporary.

What does this mean to me? I actually think my sons are right.  I’m using this COVID time to get rid of stuff – stuff I never really needed and perhaps didn’t want.  I’ve been giving shipping heirlooms to my sisters.  They’ll keep them awhile before coming to terms that their kids don’t want them either.  My conclusion: the stories about how getting rid of stuff frees your mind?  It’s true!

Not Being a Jerk – Here’s the Feedback

I am easily frustrated by phone trees and “prove-it’s-not-your-own-fault” trouble shooting by cable companies, and others.

My sons criticized me when they heard me exhibiting frustration and being curt with a phone rep, and since then I’ve tried to be nice.  I tell myself, it’s not the rep’s fault that Comcast makes them prove I’m who I am before they will tell me if the internet is out.  My internet has been getting worse and I chatted to see if it could be resolved.  Here’s the end of my last chat exchange.

When the rep thanked me for “remaining so positive,” my heart went out to him – and it still does.  He must take so much grief, and I used to be one who dished it out.  And my internet problem?  I bought new equipment and it works great now.  I guess it wasn’t Comcast’s fault after all (the phone tree still has to go).

 

Coronavirus 2 – a Dichotomy of Impact

With a heavy heart, I think of those out of work, businesses struggling, and those working hard and putting themselves at risk to serve the rest of us during this epidemic.

The uncomfortable and guilt-creating dichotomy is that for many, aspects of life have substantially improved.

I’m not commuting in traffic.  I’m having coffee at home in the morning, walking my dog at lunch and eating dinner with my wife.  Families are out strolling together, talking and smiling.  High schoolers aren’t stressed about college tests, making the team, or who’s wearing what.  The air is clean and traffic is easy.  It’s like living in the 60’s.

For many, the Coronavirus “stay at home” order is forcing peace back into our lives.  It’s a shame that it has to come at such a cost for others.

Part 2, Is There a “Continuum” of Honor? Only for most.

In my last blog post, I wrote about CU Buffaloes coach Mel Tucker, who left after one season to take a huge job coaching Michigan State. I asked, “Was Tucker’s move honorable?”  I’ve since had even more conversations with friends and family about this question.  Mostly, people deflect from actually answering the question about honor.  It’s too hard for us to judge others as dishonorable if we might act in the same way.  Instead they say, “Everyone would do that… YOU’d do that.”  Maybe I would have, maybe not – I honestly don’t know.

I do know that NOT EVERYONE would do that.

I have a good friend who DIDN’T.  He turned down an opportunity with massive and guaranteed financial upside because if he took it, his decision would have negative impacts on those to whom he’d made promises which he’d have to abandon.  I wish I could tell you the specifics.  I’d like to name him here.  I’ll tell him personally that I this is about him – and that I appreciate his honor.

Is There a “Continuum” of Honor?

CU Buffaloes coach Mel Tucker left after one season to take a huge job coaching Michigan State.  They doubled his salary (from a lot to “set for life”).  The job is way more prestigious and certainly will provide more opportunity for success.  It’s a job most coaches can only dream of.

Mel Tucker took the job AFTER recruiting a great class of new student athletes who bought into HIM, trusted HIM, and based their commitments on HIM.  AND he did this just a few days AFTER he very publicly proclaimed his commitment to CU.

Was Tucker’s move honorable?  I don’t think so.  But, I’m kind of squishy about this conclusion, because it’s a rational decision most of us would probably make if faced with the same scenario.  So, if most of us would do something that can be rationalized, does that make is not DIShonorable?

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