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I love all the cliches we grow up hearing, like “Life isn’t a bed of roses.” I knew life wasn’t a bed of roses as soon as I came out of the womb and the nurse snipped me and put that gunk in my eyes.

“Waah!”

Then from toddlerism to kindergarten and straight on through to the old folks home, you get snipped at by your parents, peers, high school vice-principals, cops, judges, sergeants, wives, nurses…the list is i-n-f-i-n-i-t-e.

But take heart, it’s not a one-way street.

Traffic cops who stand at busy city intersections live in a world of complete discipline (they have a whistle and a ticket pad and a gun), teachers have control over 80% of what their students do, and parents are lucky if they get 40% control.

Discipline is the nice word. Control is the real word, and we all want more. There’s hardly anything we do that either isn’t controlling or being controlled. It’s been that way since we were kids playing dolls, and before that since we lived in caves. Inviting all your dolls to a tea party was the heaven of control because it was always perfect, so nice, and you were in charge.

This might seem like a narrow way to look at social intercourse, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s like a big game. And the future winners and losers can be seen simply by watching them in kindergarten. Any kindergarten teacher can distinguish the winners from the losers, and they will continue to be winners and losers, playing the same games when they grow up.

Have you ever looked at your boss as though he were still in kindergarten? Do it the next time you have a meeting–look at everybody and yourself as if you were all five-year-olds again. I’ve done it, and I guarantee it will give you a new perspective on all the “games” people play with you and with each other. Every time the boss makes some pronouncement as if it had come down from on high, and which everyone dutifully notes and acquiesces to, simply see the “five-year-old” speaking, and you will start smiling, because what he’s saying no longer has “authority” on its side, and he will sound as comical as he truly is. I guarantee it.

Listen to husbands and wives talk, judges and defendants, cops and motorists. Especially cops and motorists, because who has more “authority” on his side than a cop? Just remember it’s all about getting control. Don’t forget this the next time someone lords it over you, because you can “improve on your game” by standing up and demanding what you want from the five-year-old you’re speaking to. Just make sure he isn’t carrying a gun.

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About soaringdragons

Twenty years and still alive--in China, that is. I write about China and the world of spirit--all very non-expertly--and whatever else strikes my fancy. You'll find posts on even days of the month.
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