The more time I spend online the more I realize how many people choose to live with blinders on.
Time after time I come across half baked tweets, posts and updates that people use to try to prove their particular POV is the most accurate, most righteous and smartest position to take.
Sometimes I look at the topic and automatically know that whatever has been posted is factually incorrect, taken out of context or flawed.
Not because I am smarter or more intuitive but because I read a hell of a lot and have a knack for remembering trivia.
That can be useful if you are playing trivial pursuit or some other similar game but it is not always a way to win friends and influence people.
Living With Blinders On
For example there are some cav fans who get irritated with me because they feel like I don’t give Lebron enough credit.
They say I am a hater because I say you can’t compare his numbers to Jordan because he hasn’t gone up against the same talent and has lost a ton of championships.
It is kind of a silly disagreement and one that has no real impact upon the world. No one lives or dies because people agree or disagree with our position on sports.
BTW, since you asked I put Jordan, Magic and Kareem ahead of Lebron in the list of greatest players, haven’t decided about Kobe yet. He still has more championships and that is worth something, but don’t know.
Bill Russell has more than all of them, but I don’t know that he ranks ahead.
Anyhoo, as I point-and-click my way through the chaos the places where I am more interested and yet torn about commenting are the political ones.
That is because Trump is a dangerous menace. He is willfully ignorant and a lot of his support comes from the willfully blind.
I worry about what kind of damage this bull-in-the-china-shop president can do and so when I see things online that are clearly factually incorrect or taken out of context I am inclined to engage.
Except we’re living in a time in which many people refuse to have an open mind and are determined to prove that they are right by refusing to read or think about anything that opposes their position.
That is not limited to one side or another, it happens with all sides and it is dangerous.
Rooting For A Loss
One of the neighbor kids asked me if I would root for the cavs to win and I said no. “I want them to lose big and restore the rightful order of the universe.”
He asked me why I said that and I said they won and that opened the door for a meshugehneh like the oversized oompa-loompa to win.
Is that a ridiculous statement?
Is there a connection between the two?
Maybe not, but maybe yes.
You won’t hear me talk about a possible no hitter during the game and I have been known to grow a rally beard.
What you have never heard from me is a cheer for every time the president fails or hope that he is a total disaster.
I don’t like the first and don’t want the latter but I have had a hard time not expecting it.
If I thought some of my sports superstitions would help improve his performance I would gladly try them out because a rising tide lifts all ships.
I have a speech or two to write and have begun thinking about what I want to say.
The primary audience is a 13 year-old girl and the secondary is her brother and the assorted nephews, niece, cousins and whomever else decides not to tune out.
So I pulled out a couple of pictures of the kid I used to be and tried to figure out what I would have wanted adults to talk about.
That is me in the photo above at 18 and 48.
Thirty years between the two shots, but I remember a lot about both days.
The kid with the headphones was on the swim team and was at the league championships. He had an hour or two before his first race and was trying to relax.
He thought about college and wondered how hard the classes would or would not be. He was convinced grades were a useless metric (still am) and figured he just had to make them work for a little while.
The future seemed awfully far away and incredibly close which was exciting and nerve wracking because he wasn’t entirely sure what he wanted to be.
But he figured by the time he was in his thirties he would have it all figured out and might even be married. Guess he was right about one thing.
Thirty years later I wish I had his problems and his responsibilities because life would be easy, but that is not entirely fair.
I didn’t have 48 years of life experience to draw upon. Hadn’t been through the life changing experiences that I have under my belt now and relied upon faking it until I made it.
Not that I had to fake it so much, most classes came easily to me so I didn’t have to work very hard and I was lucky enough to have a nice middle class lifestyle.
I didn’t get everything I wanted but I never went hungry or worried about shelter/clothing.
So when I think about what to say, what advice to give and how to do it I am trying to remember not to brush off all of the concerns that teens have about the future.
I am trying to remember what it felt like to sign up for selective service while the Cold War was still going and there were still people saying that Reagan would nuke the Russians.
Got to take my own blinders off and come up with something meaningful, significant and important.
Might have to start with a comment about the best basketball, football and baseball players.
Might have to remind these youngsters about the benefit of having been a sports fan for my entire life and having seen the greatest play live and how I know who doesn’t quite have the chops.
Yeah, I think that just might do it.