Stupid Facebook Post

Facebook

I was scrolling down my facebook page and read the following:

“For those of you having a drink tonight in Santa Monica we have a DUI checkpoint on ******* just south of ******* Blvd. You’re welcome!”

I intentionally left out the streets because I do not want to be guilty of the same act as the author of the post. 

You see there is a reason why drinking and driving is illegal.  There is a reason there are checkpoints.  And it is not to be a buzz kill.  It is to prevent people from killing others while driving intoxicated.

Maybe tonight, maybe someday in the future, someone will die because of this facebook post.  Am I being overdramatic?  Perhaps.  But fates could be changed by this post.  With all of the “likes” and comments received by it, there could be those altering their routes home tonight.  An accident that may not have occurred, might. 

Some, who may have received a ticket, will not.  Maybe if they had received a DUI, or DWI, this person would never drink and drive again.  Not receiving it, this person may go on to drink and drive for years, and one day get in an accident that takes out an individual, or maybe a family.

Fate is a strange thing.  I must acknowledge, that any fate altering comment or event has the potential to change things for “good” or “bad”.  Someone who otherwise would have gone out, could read what I call a stupid facebook post and for whatever reason decide not to go out.  Or decide not to drink since they can’t avoid that particular intersection.  Thus maybe saving a life.

However, we collectively come up with mores and laws with the greater good in mind.  Remove all DUI checkpoints and do you think that would have a positive or negative impact on fatalities due to drunk driving?

I get it.  Many of us don’t like rules, laws, or paying taxes.  But if we knew every enforcement mechanism in advance what would that do to the stability of our everyday life?  To our overall safety?  To our economy?  To our survival as individuals and as a society?

Sadly, it is the randomness of legal enforcement measures, not a moral sense of right and wrong, that keeps many of us in line.  Remove that randomness from the equation by telling us where all of the “checkpoints” are and things will break down.

Tonight, there is at least one checkpoint that will not be as effective as it might have been.  And for this we should thank the person who posted it on Facebook?  Somehow I don’t see anyone associated with Mother’s Against Drunk Drivers “liking” this post.

I hope it’s worth the cool points he’s getting with his FB “friends”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I Love About Kobe Bryant’s Facebook “Vent”

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In Friday night’s game against the Golden State Warriors, Kobe Bryant ruptured his Achilles tendon.  The surgery he is scheduled to have today could keep him out 6-9 months.

Knowing what is on the horizon, Bryant took to Facebook last night to vent his thoughts and feelings.  There was anger, and doubt.  There was self-pity followed by an apology and awareness of that self-pity.  There was over magnification of the problem, followed by awareness that there are far greater challenges in the grand scheme of things.  There was reconciliation that while not today, a new day would dawn, and the fight would begin again.  And that he would be ready for it.

If I could sum up all that was in Kobe’s vent in one word, it would be… humanity.

lakerraftersYou see, one day Kobe Bryant will be in the hall of fame.  His number will be retired by one of the most storied franchises in all of sports, the Los Angeles Lakers.  They will likely erect a statue of him outside of the Staples Center. As a basketball player, Bryant, possesses otherworldly abilities, drive, and determination that wannabe athletes like myself can only dream about having.

Too oftentimes we hear great athletes, leaders and entertainers talk about never having any doubts, and always knowing what an outcome would be.  That is not real.  It is not human.

I can’t remember where I read or heard this, but a saying goes, in the absence of fear there can be no courage.  Fear, doubt, these are natural responses to the obstacles strewn along our paths no matter what our journey, and no matter we are trying to do.  How do we deal with them?  Do focus on the problem?  The solution?  Focus on what is unfair and use it as an excuse to give up?  Or do we fight on no matter what?  The internal dialogue we have, the doubts and fear are not a weakness.  How we deal with them, whether we give in to them or fight on is what says a lot more about who we are.

By exposing his vulnerability in his vent, Bryant showed us that a superstar can have these thoughts and feelings as well.  They are normal and no one should be ashamed of having them.  It is a far better example to set and be followed then one of false bravado stating there was never any doubt.

In other words, if those we deify or worship can have doubts and make it, maybe in whatever it is I’m doing, it is also okay to have doubts.  And you know what?  I can pick myself up and overcome them too.  As opposed to the illusion and dynamic that stars never have doubts, I do, therefore I have no hope.

Good luck in your recovery Black Mamba!  I’m confident you will rise again.  And as it is said in many groups of many intentions… Thank you for sharing…

Moving On Versus Giving up?

A winner never quits and a quitter never wins.  Our lexicon of language is full of axioms extolling the virtues of fighting until the end. 

Indeed, the last marriage vow most utter is, “until death do we part.”  And there is merit to the idea that nothing comes easy, and that anything worth having is worth fighting for.  And if these expressions aren’t enough we can find more messages on facebook.  In the last hour I viewed, “Some quit due to slow progress.  Never grasping the fact that… slow progress is progress”.  And, “If you feel like quitting, think about why you started”.  I can go on with variations of this same sentiment.  But now I am going to utilize a different axiom that could open a door.  “There is an exception to every rule”.

So what is the exception or dare I say exceptions that allow one to quit without the negative connotation or stigma of it being quitting or giving up?  Or to put it in a more new agey way: when is it okay to let go and move on?

The short answer is, whenever the bleep you want to!  What is important, from an evolutionary or spiritual perspective, is that you are operating out of a space of authenticity.  This applies as much to the pursuit of a goal as it does to the leaving behind of one.

Continuing to borrow from cliché’s, not many of us get to have our cake and eat it too.  Life involves choices and sacrifices.  Moving in one direction puts us on a course away from another.  And within our chosen path there are still more choices, more obstacles, and more things that can go right and not so right.

Along the journey and in pursuit of our goals events occur within and beyond our control.  There are circumstances that we could not have foreseen.  People come and go.  Relationships come and go or change form.  “Acts of God” can make the day or wreak havoc in our lives.  As a result, your perspective may grow, change or evolve.  This is a good thing.

For example, a judge renders a decision based on all of the available evidence.   You are the advocate of your life and principles.  You are allowed to consider new evidence as it comes in.  New evidence can either confirm a previous decision, or if you are open to it, lead you in a new direction.

Side note… in debates over social issues of the day, as it suits them, both the political left and right question whether our founding fathers would have reached the same conclusions in forming the constitution had they known then what we know now…Well, you know things today (and more meaningfully, experienced things) that you may not have known or could have known yesterday, let alone whenever you started on the path you are on.

By moving on or in a different direction are you quitting or failing?  I’ll keep it real.  Maybe.  If you can’t accept that, than you can’t accept a part of life.  And that may be more damaging to your psyche, relationships and spirit, than any goal you do not accomplish.  This is worth exploring, not ignoring.

There is another state of mind to observe, where we see a stubborn, single-minded, dogged pursuit, regardless of the sacrifice, “win” at all costs mentality, and how it intrudes on other areas of life:  Addiction.  Except here we place a negative value judgment on it as opposed to the courage we ascribe to it in other circumstances.  But there are similarities.

Gambling is one example of addiction.  Many have lost fortunes because they couldn’t and wouldn’t let go.  Because they never stopped believing that they could turn it around, and were in denial about the trajectory they were on.

Worse yet, addiction can pervade and interfere with the ability to maximize and get the most out of other areas of life and relationships.  I’m not calling you an addict or saying there isn’t value to persistence.  I am asking you to look at addiction and then look at your behaviors in relation to your pursuit(s).  Are there any similarities as you weigh a potential crossroads in your life?  Let this sink in and think about it before you answer.

One thing I do not want to do is confuse results with success.  They are not one and the same.  There is truth in “the journey is the destination”… The point here is: it is about you figuring out what you want, and what is best for you.  This may involve counteracting the effects of socialization that have you holding on to something you might be ready to let go of.

Working against you is possibly the feeling of shame or guilt or whatever else you feel as a result of societal, well intended but in some cases misguided, conditioning that says you can never give up.  Which is also to say you can never move on.  The unspoken implication is you are sentenced to a life of struggle, burdensome odds and potential heartache because of a choice you may have made years ago.

If we are truly open to the wonders of the journey we will be open to its divergent paths as they present themselves.  And when one comes before us, and when we wish to get off a train, that in our hearts may be headed for a cement wall, that is not quitting, it is enlightened common sense.

This blog will not tell you whether to move on or stick with a particular set of circumstances or goals in your life.  I don’t know you or all of the variables you have to consider.  But if you are not sure, or rely on, “don’t give up”, mantra’s that you robotically repeat, while ignoring the rest of your insides, than I would suggest meditation, and or talking with a trusted friend or therapist.

Be open to possibilities, and to what you authentically want to do.  Be open, excepting of yourself, and give yourself permission to move in the direction that is best for you in the now.  If it is something new?  Great.  If it is what you have currently been doing?  That is great too.  Perhaps this reflective break will invigorate you and inspire new ideas on how to pursue what you’re doing, and to be more content with or without the results you seek.

My best wishes in whatever you decide as you journey forward.  Namaste.

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