Monthly Archives: December 2017

In My Own Way

Neon thoughts blinking and begging for my mind to settle. Racing thoughts speed past my brain leaving my mind to a primitive state of survival.
I close my eyes and the scenery doesn’t change, it enhances the confusion making me dizzy with nauseated fear the day won’t end if night is all i see.
My ears are deaf to my surroundings and scenes of an electric existence replace the sound of the tv that sits alone repeating episodes of drama.
I hold my keys in my hand forgetfully trying to escape wondering if the hum of the car and the sound of rubber on asphalt will at least transport me to the nowhere that’s quite and relaxing.

I can smell fresh cut hay and exhaust with my memories. I can taste the straw dangling between my tobacco tax stained teeth. My muscles tighten at the memories of the work I hated that I wish I could still do. At this moment I want a field of hay, or a 60 pound ruck to sweat the world away with the calm feel of exhaustion.
I’m never in the proper tense. Then I was here, now I’m there. I travel off kilter never in the moment. The hope and dread weigh heavy on my footsteps. It’s hard to move forward while I’m trying and difficult to sit still without thinking of every move that would get me to now.
I don’t know if I should slow down or speed up. I can’t seem to have my ambitions align with my motivations. I’m intelligent, but being smart eludes me. I’m compassionate, but angry. I’m engaged, but distracted. The pace of my life is impossibly random.
So here I sit writing to you hoping I’m not the only tortured soul who’s spirit has a mind of its own. I’m thinking about the work I have to do and the words screaming to get out of my head. Then I remember my mind controls my brain that is full of experiences and dreams. My life is full of hopes and dreams. So all I have to do is move out of my own way.

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I Hope!

Hope is a double edge sword tempered by fear and sharpened by faith. It matters not what we know, or learn, or experience. It only matters that we feel we deserve the possibility of brighter days and calmer nights.
Tempered emotions see through feelings of doubt. It’s the trepidation that guide each step silently through the crowds of reality. Desolate figures strewn throughout rubbles streets boil grease slicked water for a blessing.
Looking for a sign through hundred yard stares, hoping, not sure whether the sun is beating down on your back or shine down on your life. Then rain washes away the doubt leaving you shivering with the reality that hope is lonely.
Lonely in a sea of faces and exhaust that pollute the air revealing your soul in grey shadows on graffiti drawn walls. Your thoughts dwell behind the fragmented words that leap off the wall with anger. How can you lose hope to the point anger is soothing.
In this twisted state of emotion you sit in the filth of one hundred souls shedding their spirit for noodles and a God who gives that one chance to cleanse your soul and stand tall in the face of poverty.
It’s not the grime or the hunger that hides hope. It’s not the clothes or the state that sees hope is possible. It’s the mind that says “one more step is a step closer to something, and something id better than nothing”!
I hope!

College Football Participation Award

So, the whole SEC, Big Ten playoff dilemma says says a lot about the denigration of our morality. The real problem for me is it makes sense to most people. The playoff system in college football is not a playoff system is what I hear and see.

Take the NFL for instance. How many championships would each team have if we followed the obscure method the that college football follows. More importantly what does it say about the “comeback kid”!

The privileged class in America is in control of our country, our sports, our entertainment, etc… There is something being said when someone can look back at a body of work (Ohio State) and portray their efforts as less because they lost a couple games early. Folks believe that should eliminate them from competition. Never mind that they came back and overcame the problems they had and continued to strive for excellence winning their championship game.

I’ve told my kids for years that if you get an “A” on your class work you didn’t learn anything. Getting an “A” means you already knew the information. The belief that getting something wrong and going back to try harder is no longer a part of our emotional beliefs in America.

This is true in academics, sports, employment. It extends into healthcare, justice, and military situations as well. Stay with me a minute cause it all ties together, trust me.

Now I’m not an Ohio State fan, I’m a Georgia and Alabama fan. In fact, I’d go as far as to say Auburn should have been placed above Ohio State using the current method of reasoning. It only makes sense that a team who beat 2 of the top 4 teams should be one of the top 4 teams, and I’m no Auburn fan.

My belief is if you win the games to get you to the top, then lose the top game to get the championship, your out. You didn’t win. Any team can be beaten on any day given the right circumstances. This is not the college football logic.

Because Alabama “participated” and has a history of getting “A”’s on the field they were advanced past a team that won their championship. I won’t mention the PAC 12 because then it really gets confusing.

The real obvious point for me is not football, that’s a game. However, nationally there are at least half of the nation that believe this makes sense. To say you don’t win your out seems to harsh. This may or may not be true in America today. That’s scary.

Even scarier is that “the come back” is no longer admirable or valuable to half of us. Participating and talking the loudest about when you did perform is more valid evidence of a champion.

If athletes and citizens start to believe “the comeback” has no value, and that some folks deserve opportunities more than others based on criteria other than effort we’re in trouble.

For me it’s simple. Win your division, go to the championship. Lose your division, try harder next year. The fact this seems harsh is beyond me. The term “deserving” is emotional. We don’t always get what we deserve and that’s life.

I’m still an “underdog” kinda guy. I don’t follow sports religiously, but enjoy football, basketball, and the fights. The individuals and teams that almost made it are my champions. They we’re up, then down in their efforts and made no excuse for their losses other than taking responsibility.

To make exceptions to make a champion doesn’t even make sense when you say it out loud. It could be true that the slowest child in a race put more effort in a race than the fastest child. It is also true that given the right motivation, training, and attitude the slowest child can train and become the champion through effort. Equally true is the child could train hard, eat right, and focus hard, only to lose again. There no shame in this, not everyone can be the best everyday.

The true champion battles adversity and overcomes deficits to be the best any given day. Making exceptions for what you’ve accomplished in the past just says you were the best once. It doesn’t mean you’re the best forever. It doesn’t mean you have more heart than others. It doesn’t mean you get a pass when you fail. It means you competed, and that’s the point we’re dulling.

We have to battle this “participation award” mentality. These folks have grown up, (questionably) and are not running business, buying tickets and jerseys, even running the country. If this attitude spills over into our governmental or business models we’re in trouble. We’ll have a privileged class that buries anyone with an exception into the bowels of an underclass. “Oh, Waite a minute, damn I’m too late!”