How To Live The Rules Of Life –
“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” he yelped as he lurched up threateningly from his seat at the table.
“I know more than you do,” I snarled back, trying to be the bigger bully.
Fist were ready to fly, and the other two guys knew it, as they tried to push themselves away from the card table unnoticed.
A Friendly Game Of Cards
It all started friendly enough. Four teenage friends were getting together for a game of cards and a couple of beers.
After playing for a while, Blaine made a call in the game that I disagreed with. I told him point-blank that ain’t the way the game’s played. It is, he stated emphatically.
And it escalated from there, to the point of near blows.
I’m sure if we weren’t best friends at the time, it would have ended very badly. But instead we agreed to disagree, and we ended the friendly game with the rage still blowing inside of us.
Rules Are Important
The next day I made a beeline to the bookstore. Absolutely positive that I was right, and I would prove it with “Hoyle’s Rules Of Games.”
I found the book, bought the book and proceeded to look up the game we were playing so I could proudly point to it on our need meet and show him, no, Prove To Him, that I was right.
I went straight for the index, found the page the game was on and dove in to find His Error.
I quickly found the play he called so incorrectly, I was right, He Was Wrong!
But Wait! What’s this?? I was wrong too?!
How can this be? I was absolutely positively certain that I was right – but I wasn’t.
I read Hoyle’s rule over and over. I am trying to comprehend how I could have been wrong about this, how we were both wrong about this.
Well, I’ll have to apologize for sure, damn, I hate having to do that. But because Blaine was wrong, also I can do it in a more manly, not backing down sorta way.
Giving him a way out as well as myself. That will make it easier.
But there’s another concern to deal with.
How do I agree to play the game now? Do I give in and play it Blaine’s way? Do I stick to my guns and play it my way? Or … do I play it the right way – According to the Rules?
It’s The Rule
I decided to relearn the game and play it by the rules.
Before learning the real rules, when I thought my way was right, I demanded others play that way. Now that I know the real rules, I must demand of myself to play accordingly.
By the rules.
I have certain beliefs, and one of them is that you don’t get ahead by cheating or taking shortcuts.
It may be harder to do things the right way. It may take extra time when you learn it the first time. But in the long run, it always works out better.
Unfortunately, we never played cards after that event. The others were content to play the way they always played; I wasn’t. It didn’t seem like the right thing to do, for me.
Many years have passed since that card game so long ago. Blaine and I stayed friends, although we drifted apart over time. We talked just before he passed on a few years ago.
I know I learned a lot from that event, and thinking about it was the inspiration for writing this.
And here is my biggest take away:
It’s not what you don’t know – It’s what you think you know that will give you the most trouble.
Don’t get caught like I did, thinking you know. Give what you know some doubt and see how much more you can learn. And how much more you’ll grow by doing so.