Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Impatient King

One cannot be duplicitous in diverse environments. 

I used to play basketball during lunch on Mondays and Fridays each week.  I really enjoy playing basketball, however, really didn’t enjoy some of the folks that played during this time of day.  The same guys show up religiously each week and behaviors are as predictable as owing the government taxes.  One guy in particular irritated me in such a way that I decided it best to no longer play with this group.  I just didn’t want to be around this type of behavior, especially from grown men that I expected maturity out of.  On a random occasion I was out with a buddy of mine and we ran into this guy who was by generally decent at the time.  My friend walked away with stories of how this guy is such a good guy except on the basketball court.  I remain skeptical of this ideology that behavior in one situation can be isolated and controlled.  I believe every situation has the opportunity to act as a trigger for our behaviors.  While some behaviors are hidden or repressed for the sake of professionalism or any other endless reason when an individual is stimulated by some trigger that sets off this behavior it is in that moment when the natural self is exposed.  This natural characteristic cannot be turned on and off depending on situations, it can only be repressed.  It still exists no matter what.  However, one can, with time and discipline, learn to change a trait that may be otherwise unhealthy or destructive.  In short, one cannot be duplicitous in life.  What you see as bad on the basketball court exists off the court; it is only hidden out of some sense of appropriateness. 

None of this is to say a characteristic or trait cannot be changed, but it is simply saying it’s not like a light switch that can be turned on or off.  With time, self-reflection, and a lot of support a person can change though.  This change will make itself obvious when those triggers no longer release venom into the environment that person finds themselves in.  Basketball is a trigger I have; it is a trigger that releases a part of me I dearly wish would die off.  Arrogance is the ugly knick in my armor, the thorn in my side, the inverse of a great strength.  It is my prescription that all flaws are truly just mismanaged strengths or gifts.  A strength I have is confidence and when that is managed properly it can be a huge asset to situations I find myself within.  When mismanaged this confidence turns to arrogance.  Arrogance is very nebulous in definition and application though.  Arrogance has many disguises and hides just beneath the surface of characteristics we would rather be pegged with.  Arrogances’ best muse in my case is impatience.  I find myself being impatient in life, especially on the basketball court.  I can see it, it is like this huge splinter stuck in my finger that I want to rip out.  Taking this trait away from my character will hurt though, much like removing the deeply embedded splinter.  Impatience is truly arrogance dancing in different shoes.  My impatience with others in basketball with deductive reasoning reduces to me thinking my way is better than others and becoming frustrated when they fail to meet my standard or expectation.  I set myself on a throne as king of basketball when I am impatient with others during a game.  It is unhealthy to place standards on others that may or may not be superior at all.  The superiority of a way of thinking shouldn’t even be a cognitive path one wants to explore anyways.  It is in these little moments that I see my ugly side flair up and become aware and ashamed.  Through self-awareness though it is my strong conviction that change can be made.  Basketball is a trigger for me, however, I know that any characteristic triggered by basketball is hiding just beneath the surface in every other situation I find myself in.  Arrogance applied in other life situations can be more damaging than just becoming frustrated with teammates. 

We all have flaws; we all have ugly traits that flash when stimulated.  Are you willing to be deductive in your reasoning when you see things in yourself?  You cannot have different personalities unless you have a mental illness; otherwise you are only fooling yourself and denying personal growth.  It is important for us as individuals, business owners, employees, fathers, husbands, brothers, co-workers, and fellow humans to embrace our own imperfections and seek to change any destructive expressions to embitter life, in whatever capacity that may be.  Will you join me?  Remember, you cannot live a duplicitous life.  If you’re an ass at work or on the basketball court, you’re an ass at home.  Don’t be an ass, make the change.  At least be willing to call out that flaw and begin working on changing yourself.

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