Friday, May 6, 2011

Take The Long Way Home

My Dad's colleague once told me that he was a great leader because he had the ability to determine the outcome of any professional situation before he engaged in it. He did this by researching the people involved and the dynamics of the dispute. So, when you were called into his office to explain your side of the story, he already knew your side of the story....and if you were not were toast!

My Dad's professional command of conflict negotiation was mastered on me. He would wake up early, read the newspaper, and engage me in conversation as I rolled out of bed on a Saturday morning. He would ask me the particulars of the Laker game the night before, I would retort with my unadulterated emotion, and he would subtly work the facts into the conversation to trump my emotion. I would blame the loss on Kareem Abdul Jabbar not getting back to play defense. He would recite Kareem's triple double statistics and ask me to reconsider my position. Knowing he was right, I would storm off to the kitchen to check the box scores over my fruity pebbles.

Another habit of efficiency that my father had was timing car rides from point A to point B. We're heading the the Forum which way do you want to go....I would choose, he would take the alternate route home, and explain to me why it was more efficient.

Last week, I authored a piece explaining my disproving of proof driven motivation. Now you understand why.

At some point, I discovered that the quickest route home was not always the most pleasing. I can get to Disneyland much faster by taking the 5 freeway but the Highway 1 is so much more beautiful. My mind dances on Highway 1 making the drive more enjoyable. On the 5...I grip the steering wheel and speed ahead the next semi in my way to my destination...not enjoyable!

As our Saturday morning debates continued, I picked up the album "Breakfast in America" by Supertramp. "the Tramp" was awesome. Their lead singer had this incredible beard, he sang into a huge foam microphone, he played great keyboard leads, and they had a saxophone player. All the facts in the world cannot rival the magic of beards, keyboards, and sax solos!

The Tramp had a song called "take the long way home" that endeared me. The thought was presented to me that efficiency might not be as enjoyable as adventure. Bliss! To know that all that had proven me wrong wasn't necessarily right. That you could stop and smell the roses, the joy was in the journey, you can take the long way home!

Time has passed and the debates my Father and I have are now moderated by my Brother-in-law and his I-phone. Damn you Steve Jobs!!!! I learned to be prepared through my interactions with my Dad. His fucking with me an encapsulated the lesson of how to better relate to people. He was right as usual!

I have, however, not lost my ability to see the forest through the trees. I still refute the statistical evidence that the fantasy football geeks claim win/lose the game. There is no box score for diving for a loose ball.

The numbers don't lie but they don't tell the whole story!

As I amble down Highway 1 in route to Disneyland blasting Supertramp, my wife and kids asleep, I have 2 thoughts on my mind:
1. Life is too short to validate our every action
2. Resistance is usually the result of neglected facts

Don't Forget to Remember!


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