Sunday, May 20, 2012

It's Where You're Headed That Counts

I’ve been accused by at least one of my readers of taking myself too seriously. So, just for you, dear Uncle, I’ll start this month’s musings with a joke.

Did you hear about the new T-shirt for sale at the Fayetteville bookstores? The back of the cardinal red shirt reads as follows: “If you can read this, my student-athlete development coordinator has fallen off.”

My apologies to those of you who have been living under a rock for the past few weeks. That comment refers, of course, to the recent motorcycle accident that caused a coaching change in the Razorback Nation. To loosely quote the University’s athletic director, that incident by itself would not have caused a huge problem. It was after further investigation, when the matter turned from personal to personnel, that the hog pooie hit the fan. One mishap along the road of life won’t derail a career, but the direction the leader of the team seemed to be headed became a much larger issue.

A favorite show at the Carlisle house pits accomplished chefs against each other with three baskets of mystery ingredients. They might be asked to cook something delicious with such combinations as Portobello mushrooms and M&Ms candies.  The judges are very demanding, even though the participants are given no advance notice about the ingredients, and only about 30 minutes to fix each dish. After each challenge, one is eliminated, until the best two battle by fixing a gourmet dessert. The final pair is judged not just on that one last dish, but by evaluating their whole day, all three courses of the meal. This seems to be a satisfying way of choosing the overall winner in this heated competition.

Recently, I finished a book based on a similar idea. A person is judged not by the individual events of his life, but an overview of all them. Deborah Raney’s “After All”, published by Howard Books and available soon at your local bookstore, finds our heroine dealing with a disturbing revelation about her husband that becomes apparent at the time of his death. Along with the grief, she also has to come to grips with feelings of anger and betrayal. The moral of this story seems to be that she must believe that given a little more time, the man she married would have remained true to himself, and to her. It’s a story that reflects real emotions and life situations, and I think you’ll enjoy it, just as you will enjoy any book with this talented author’s byline.

None of us will make all of the right decisions as we travel life’s road. We can only try to approach each intersection, each curve with care and a little consideration of where it will all end up. Enjoy the journey, but try not to derail it with actions that don’t represent who you really are.

Or- to paraphrase a blog comment from Arkansas 360: When you don’t beat LSU, you get angry. When you get angry, you buy a Harley Davidson motorcycle, when you buy a Harley Davidson motorcycle, you ask a pretty 25-year old to ride it. When you ask a pretty 25-year old to ride your Harley, you end up in a roadside ditch. Don’t end up in a roadside ditch. Beat LSU.

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