It’s Not Really Winning If Nobody Else Gets To Play

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a nice start.

I’m in my favorite position this morning. Sitting on the sofa with a fresh cup of coffee and grandkids by my side. In the time I’ve been home, my granddaughter has become a little Grandpa’s girl. Her brother always was. You know. Not a girl, but … never mind. Either way, I’ll take the extra attention. Experience has shown it doesn’t last forever.

Saturday, we brought the RV home for some routine maintenance. In other words, my wife bought some more stuff to go inside and we had to put it away. I worked up a pretty good sweat in the process. Making the bed is an Olympic event. It’s like synchronized swimming except there’s nothing synchronized about it, other than the part where we both said, “close enough.”

I also put some water in the tank to check for leaks, since the pipes were all exposed to freezing overnight temperatures last week. The good news is the pipes are fine. The better news is I now know how fast those tanks fill. The mechanic warned me about the dangers of overfilling the “black” tank for cleaning. There’s this vent pipe on the roof and … well, use your imagination.

As we finished everything up, we both agreed it’s time to go camping. Like over the river and through the woods. Okay, over the mountains and right through the middle of the world’s most intense driving experience – Atlanta. It’s not the only way to get to Florida, but once you’ve mastered that one, everything else is child’s play. Besides, that’s why God made insurance.

One of the benefits of something that big is I don’t mind when my wife tells me how to drive. Those mirrors are pretty good, but she’s better. If there’s anything back there, she lets me know. If she launches into Lamaze breathing, that means I’m about to do something really stupid. It’s a form of communication we’ve perfected over the years. Besides, I’m too far away to punch.

Another thing I’ve learned is that other drivers aren’t so much of a pain when you’re in a vehicle like that. It’s not that they’re any less aggressive. It’s just that I don’t care. I’m sure Jim-Bob is riding my bumper in a pickup truck that matches the size of his ego, but my rear-view camera only works when the transmission is in reverse. Bet that’d get his attention.

Okay, that’s a false sense of security. I used to drive a semi, and any visions of being bigger and badder than everything else on the road fade into the twilight the moment you hit the D.C. Beltway. Have you ever seen a chihuahua take on a St. Bernard? That’s the way it was with every Prius on the road. And, like a St. Bernard facing down a chihuahua, I backed off.

I guess it comes down to a sense of entitlement. We all feel entitled to our spot on the road and, for that matter, in life. And, for some people, that entitlement gets a boost by intimidating others who only want their own piece of the pie. But that only works if you have something to intimidate them with. You don’t see a lot of Yugos brake-checking a monster truck.

We went to the grocery store yesterday, and that sense of entitlement is beginning to creep back in there as well. A week ago, people were taking the six-foot separation thing to heart. Even those who weren’t necessarily afraid of germs gave leeway to those who were. Now, it’s back to normal. Carts in the middle of the aisle, and people reaching over you for a can of soup.

After the 9/11 attacks, a sense of unity swept over the entire nation and people showed genuine concern for one another. But apparently, all it takes is a few protests at the State House to make the rest of us forget what we’re up against and why it’s important that we look out for one another. And this, I fear, is why we won’t return to “normal” any time soon.

But the bigger question is, do we really want to? If “normal” means pushing our way through a crowd and demanding that others yield to our self-ordained sense of entitlement, maybe that’s not such a worthy goal after all. Especially if it means sacrificing the progress we’ve made for the sake of our own desires.

A little humility goes a long way in restoring a sense of community. In yielding to others, we empower ourselves. There is no control like self-control. Sure, some may take advantage of your consideration. That’s their problem, not yours. Kindness is only as common as we want it to be. We just have to want it more than we want what we had.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved