The Left – He was a loving family man, a staple of his community. He was a deacon in the church, he was well-known for his big heart and warming smile.
The Right – He was a criminal, there was a warrant out for his arrest. He had a rap sheet as long Psalms 119, he had PCP and was disobeying the officer’s direct orders.
Whether the left is correct or the right is correct doesn’t matter. We have a problem. Regardless of how big or small you may think the problem is, arguing about it doesn’t change the fact that the problem exists. I don’t think anyone who is in their right mind can argue that.
We like to talk about problems and how big they are. We may even toss in an idea on how to fix them, but we rarely do. What I write below is from the viewpoint of someone who would prefer that African-American people nor cops get gunned down in the street and will be looking at this issue strictly as what is happening. I believe families, Jesus or the lack there of, community, and education all play a huge role in what is happening in all of society but I am going to leave those factors out or at least try to and strictly look at the issue at hand. Below are my response to the police, the African-American community, and us who are more of a 3rd party in this issue
To the Police
I got pulled over a few months ago for speeding. When the officer walked up to my car and asked for insurance, license and, registration, I realized I had forgotten to grab my registration out of the glove box. Thinking nothing of it I reached for the glove box and saw the officers hand head towards his gun. I can’t imagine having that type of fear at my daily job. I really can’t. I know I am good person who wouldn’t harm anyone, but the officer doesn’t. When I reach for my glove box I know a weapon isn’t in there, the officer doesn’t. I understand where you are coming from. I understand the stress this job puts on you and the family type atmosphere you have with your fellow officers who patrol the same streets you do. But no matter how tight of a family you have created one thing must go above everything else, and that is what is right. You see a fellow officer treating someone poorly, you stop them. You see a fellow officer repeatedly kick someone who has been cuffed, you stop them. You see a fellow officer pull out a gun on an innocent person, you stop them. You see an officer shoot an innocent person, you arrest them. 99.9% of cops are good. The best thing you can do is recognize that the .01 does exist and do everything in your power to not let them define you as whole. Don’t let your identity be defined from the worst of the group. Let it be defined by the best
Reach out the communities you serve in. Have a heart to heart and apologize for the actions of a few bad cops. Cry with them because you know they didn’t deserve what happened. Ask them how you can improve in your procedures, ask them how you can help them feel more comfortable around the police. Listen to what they say and start training your officers in the solutions they offer. It won’t be easy. It really won’t be. But when love is the foundation peace can be had and I know for myself I would rather do something difficult for lasting change than sit around talking about it. Thank you for service and all that you do. I appreciate it even if that doesn’t always come across.
To the African-American Community
“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that” – MLK.
I understand the mindset of you want to gun us down, we will gun you down. Tit for tat. Unfortunately that won’t work. Are you interested in fixing the problem or reciprocating violence? If you are interested in fixing the problem. Awesome, so am I. In my mind here’s where you start. Humble yourself to the police. Vocalize that you understand the stress they go through. Even if you don’t mean it or believe it, it will help ease their stress. Stand arm in arm with the good cops. When a cop shoots an innocent person realize that is a bad cop. Not every cop. Be outraged at the cop! Be furious!!! But don’t stereotype the police force because of it. If you don’t want to be stereotyped then stop stereotyping others.
Step up! You don’t like cops or how they treat you. Become one. Be the change you want to see. If your neighborhood grows up with the will to one day become cops so they can better serve the community they grew up in; that is when change happens. This argument of well the cops need to change is accurate. The counter argument that you need to change is accurate as well. Change needs to come from both sides. Stop arguing about who should change and step up and change it yourself. Sit down with the local police force and have a heart to heart. Apologize for your friend or sibling or others in the community who gunned down an officer with the emphasis that they were a bad apple. Tell them they are an outlier of a community. Not the norm. Don’t identify yourself with the bad apples. Identify yourself with the good ones. Tell them and show them you are just as peaceful and deserves as much respect as any other ethnicity. Ask the force what the best possible way to respond is when we are pulled over. Ask how we can put the officer’s mind at ease. Is it fair that you guys may have to above and beyond what other races do when it comes to how the police force views you? Absolutely not!! It’s not fair at all. But that is the point. Stop complaining about how it’s not fair and start making change so it won’t matter whether the system is fair or not because the system will no longer exist. Love brings us together not violence.
To Everyone Else
I see you debating about it on Facebook. Should Kaepernick kneel or stand? He’s raising awareness. He’s disrespecting the flag. I see others post links to different shootings with words such as “I am shaking. Weeping. Afraid. Overcome with grief. God have mercy.” I love the emotions you feel and that we all feel. Unfortunately for us a Facebook post doesn’t evoke change and in reality it doesn’t even start a conversation, just an argument.
When I drive on the freeway and see a click it or ticket sign I always wonder who it is for. Everybody in this country knows to where there seatbelt. At this point it is a decision you make not to. That sign is not going to convict the 1% of people who choose not to. The small percent of true racists are not going to be swayed by your Facebook citing what is wrong. Level headed people understand that racism is wrong. Crazy people are rooted in their racist ways just like the non-seat belt wearers are. Your words are meaningless if not backed up by action. True action. Kaepernick is taking a stand ironically by taking a knee. I respect that. But what is the end goal here? He donated a million dollars. Awesome. But what is that going to change? All you people complain about the wrongs which are going on, I hear you, I do. But let me ask you this. When is the last time you have been to the ghetto? Never? A couple of years ago? Trust me you know where it is. It’s the place you are scared to go to, or at least scared to go to past a certain time. I hear what you are saying but I don’t see you in those streets helping build the community. Raising awareness even donating money are not bad things, but they are not close to as valuable as YOUR time. If you care as much as it seems you do on FB, go walk the streets handing out free lunches. Get to know the community. Volunteer to help these kids learn how to read. You do construction? Awesome!! Take your Saturday and volunteer in the ghetto by fixing someone’s leaky roof. Show them positive role models no matter what your skin color and show them you not only care, but you love them. Don’t just love your neighbor when it’s a rich guy who owns a boat that you get to use. Love them when it’s the house at the end of the cul-de-sac who you are afraid to make eye contact with. The house you tell your kids to stay away from. Love them!! Stop telling me about how I should love my neighbor from behind your keyboard when you don’t even know your neighbors name.
I say all this because it appears you care based on all the Facebook arguments you get in about it. If you don’t truly care then that is your choice. If getting to know your neighbor or serving meals in the part of town you feel uncomfortable in is too tall an order for you. Fine. Just stop the pretending. Don’t get on your high horse when your high horse is tied up in the nice part of town. It might be time to take that high horse out for a ride and you know exactly where you need to go. Love means nothing without actions. Nobody is forcing you to love everyone, but if you are going to continually preach it. It may be time to start practicing it as well.
How many of you have ever invented a product in your head before? I think everyone at some point has. I love to invent fake products and then spend the fake money I would have made of off them. When I invent a fake product I always do a halfhearted google search where I “attempt” to find out if this product already exists. I never find it mainly for the fact I don’t want to find it. Eventually I tell someone my idea only to hear them say it already exists. There is nothing worse than being told something you invented in your head already exists. I get irritated and attempt to explain how mine is different or better. I know my fake product isn’t different better, but my pride gets in the way of me saying “Oh it already exists. Good for the guy who invented it.” To me, it’s not about the product because if it were, I would be excited that it already exists a buy it. To me, it’s about the fact that I didn’t invent the product and I get really angry for no apparent reason. I wanted to be able to seal soda cans once opened. That products exists. I should be thrilled that I can now seal cans. I’m not. My pride won’t let me.
Another example is when I watch the show Shark Tank. I get angry as I sit there mad that somebody thought of a product that I should have thought of. A makeup container with a spatula on the bottom?!?! I should have thought of that.
That is what people do when it comes to God. They invent their own god. A lot of times it’s themselves, nature, or even Netflix. Like I do when I invent a product, my pride gets in the way of accepting that this product already exists. We don’t need to invent on our own god. Thankfully. God already exists. People storm off when you tell them that because they are not willing to admit God exists. They get angry because deep down they realize that it’s true, but are unwilling to admit it. We put are pride in the way of the truth. You argue, you yell, you storm off because you are wrong. If you weren’t wrong it wouldn’t matter.
People don’t get in fights arguing whether or not Bigfoot exists. One of my best friends believes in Bigfoot. I love to chat with him about it and make fun of him for believing in him. Not once does the conversation get heated because it doesn’t really matter if Bigfoot exists or not. Bring up God and that is different. It gets testy, it gets heated because of how much it matters. It matters so much.
If you came up with an invention with humility and said I have an idea that I am going to search hard for. You would most likely find out that it already exists. You would tell a friend who would say “Oh yeah that already exists.” It would be okay because you humbled yourself and instead of thinking you are genius, you would simply be thankful the product already exists and would purchase it.
Same with God. If you came at him with humility saying there has to be more to life than it just being about me, you would find out your right. Someone would explain him to you. Google would answer your question. You would be thankful you don’t have to invent God because God already exists. Not only does he already exists. But, He is better than anything you could have ever invented.
What do you care about? Do you care about the needing the product to exist so it improves your life? Or do you care about wanting to be the one to invent so everyone thinks highly about you?
It’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s simply about realizing everything we could ever want or need, already exists.
I was thinking about friends the other day and no not the T.V show. Confusing I know since the picture above is of the show Friends, but it’s completely unrelated. I probably should have used a different picture so I wouldn’t have to explain that it’s not about the show Friends, but it’s to late now.
I was asking myself the question “How do you make friends?” If you think it about, it could be the hardest question in the world to answer. How do you make friends? I have friends, but I have no idea how I made them. What made me and them decide we would be friends when we met? It’s not like were the cast from Last Man on Earth and these are the only humans left. Out of all the billions of people on earth why am I friends with the handful of people I am?
ANSWER…I don’t know. I decided to do a Google search on the topic to find out how you do it. The top answer on Google gave me the following 7 step list.
1.Do it blind. Most of us have heard of the “blind date,” when we let a friend play matchmaker and set us up with someone we’ve never met before. Do the same thing to meet friends.
2.Get up close and personal.
4.Set a goal.
6.Don’t take it personally.
7.Think outside the box.
No joke that is what it said. That looks like something you would find in the book How Sociopaths Make Friends For Dummies. I have found that the best way to make friends is to set a goal and say cheese. Works just under 0% of the time.
Like all tough questions I need to answer in life, I decided to reverse engineer it. What do I not want in a friend? I thought about it and these five things came to mind. I believe these five things to be a universal truth; meaning if you do any of these things that is why you don’t have friends.
Spinning in Foosball
If I see someone who looks like they would make a good friend, the first thing I do is challenge them to a game of foosball. But wait you might ask? What if there isn’t foosball table around? What I do and would recommend to anyone who is reading this, is always carry a foosball table in the back of your truck bed. You never know when you might meet a possible friend and you need to always be prepared. If they start spinning their guys faster than Michelle Kwan doing a shotgun spin in the 2002 Olympics, it’s time to move on. That is an insane person. Foosball is game where you try to score goals, not where you try to generate enough energy to power a 40W light bulb for the next three days.
Carries a ________ with Them
I don’t like when anybody carries something with them at all times so they can show off. Whether that be a guitar, a magic trick, a basketball, or a cd of their latest mixtape. You can have all those things in your car, but you can’t carry them with you. If I utter the words “Man, I haven’t seen a magic trick in a while” that is a test. If you proceed to pull a deck of cards out of your cloak like you’re the Hustler Kid from the show Recess and ask me to pick a card, we’re finished and you have failed the test. Actually, the fact that you wear a cloak is enough for me to go the other direction. I don’t care what you pull out of it.
The person I hate the most is guitar guy. These guys are never that good at playing or singing and end up doing unasked for mediocre performances all night. Do you think you would ever see Louis Armstrong walking down the street holding his trumpet just cause? NOPE! The only time real musicians have instruments is when they practice, play, or are walking somewhere to play. They don’t carry their instrument around waiting for an opportunity to arise. That is what people who suck do because nobody wants them to play at an actual gig.
Owns a Ferret
Potential friend – Hey what are you up to?
Me – Nothing much.
Potential friend – You should come over and hangout with me and Felix.
Me – Whose Felix? Is he a cool guy?
Potential friend – Ha-ha Felix is my Ferret.
Me – *Hangs up phone
If you have a ferret I am extremely jealous first of all because people who have ferrets love them more than I could ever love anything on this planet. They love ferrets more than John Legend loves Chrissy Teigen and if you have ever heard the album Love in the Future, that is a lot of love. I wish I had 10% of the loving capabilities ferret owners do. It takes a special person to love something as awful and grotesque as a ferret.
Ferret ownership means you live in a basement and probably have a sword hanging on the wall. Ferret ownership also means you smell like a ferret all the time and are surprised when people say “NO, I DO NOT WANT TO KISS YOUR FERRET,” as you proceed to make out with it. Just say the word ferret out loud if you’re reading this. It doesn’t sound like something I ever want be within 100 feet of. If you think about it, the only thing worse than a ferret, are the people who own ferrets. To quote War “Why can’t we be friends, why can’t we be friends?” You own a ferret, that’s why.
Is a Foodie
I had an old coworker who once uttered these words when I asked him, “What are you up to this weekend?” His response, “Nothing much, I will probably just catch up on all my Yelp reviewing I have to do.” If I was the boss I would have canned him right there. That is the worst. This is someone who if you try to go out and eat with, will give a dissertation on the pepperoni pizza they ordered. Kidding! We all know he wouldn’t order a pepperoni pizza! He would have to order an I’m better than you pizza with extra goat cheese and whole tomatoes slices on top. News flash. THE SAUCE IS MADE OUT OF TOMATOES, YOU DON’T NEED TO ALSO ORDER IT FOR THE TOP OF YOUR PIZZA! I hate this guy. If it sucks, it sucks and you can complain briefly. If it’s good feel free to let me know, but again, keep it brief. Don’t however, treat it like you are going to write a sequel to In Search Of Lost Time called My Dinner. If you have ever written a Yelp review longer than 3 sentences, it is time to get a job. If you already have a job and still write long Yelp reviews, it’s time to hang up your last pair of sunglasses at the Sunglass Hut and move on.
Half Birthday Aficionado
I hate birthdays! This may make me sound like I converted into being a Jehovah’s Witness, but I haven’t. You can rest assured knowing I will never knock on your door with a pamphlet that has Jesus on it with the question “Who was this man?” Actually, it’s not that I hate birthdays, it’s just that I hate your birthday. I went out to dinner a couple of nights ago with some people and one of them said “My half birthday is in 2 weeks.” I don’t want to name her in case she is reading this…Wait a minute, I do want to name her so she knows to never do it again. Her name is Sarah.
If you know when your half birthday you are crazed narcissists who needs counseling immediately. Not only do I not care when your birthday is, I really don’t care when your half birthday is. After the age of 8 half birthdays are no longer thing.
If you have ever wished yourself a happy birthday on FB, Instagram, or Snapchat I am going to say something you have never heard in your life. Take a seat if you are standing. YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL. You’re not. All you really have to do to have a birthday is not die. Think about it. Do we really need a yearly party celebrating you not dying?
If you know when your half birthday is, then I am going to half (Get it? Half instead of have?) to not be your friend.
A couple nights ago I was playing the game Horse with some friends. Horse is where you shoot different basketball shots, trying to make a shot your friend will miss. When you make a shot and the person you are playing with misses, they get the letter H. Once you spell out the word horse you lose. You can also play pig, which is the same game, just a little shorter. Unclear why they are both animal related. Horses and pigs have exactly zero in common with the game of basketball, but I digress. We were playing with 3 people and one of my friends made a shot. Another friend took the shot and missed. I proceeded to take my own shot, only to get a look of confusion mixed with you are cheating from my friend.
That is what gave me the idea for this post. Everybody seems to have their own rules for how games are played. What we need is a calm/soothing/brilliant voice to establish such rules. Luckily, not only do I know the perfect guy, but we happen to be really close. 90% of all the rules are accurate but there are a couple of rules in each of the following games that people have different rules for. I will be talking about those.
Please keep in mind these rules are not suggestions, they are laws. I have reached out to the FBI to see if they would help enforce these, but have yet to hear back from them. I am however, confident they will respond with an affirmative yes.
I searched my brain for a few other games with different rules and below will be the proper rules to 4 important games. These rules will not only make the games better they will also save friendships in the process.
The first rule I touched on above is changing the name. It will no longer be horse and pig because those have nothing to do with basketball. It will now be loser and bad. The only good thing pig and horse have going for them is that you get to call people a horse and a pig and have it be acceptable. I want to keep that alive and be able to call people a loser and bad. However, unlike horse and pig, bad and loser have a correlation to the game of basketball.
If somebody gets a letter off of a shot, nobody has to attempt that shot again. You can’t get multiple letters off of one shot.
When you are on your last letter and you miss, you get the following two options.
Option 1 – You can either take the shot again and if you make it you stay alive or if you miss you are a loser.
Option 2 – You can have the person who originally made the shot take it again and if they miss it you are still alive and if they make it you are a loser.
This is not a rule but something that needs to be said. Monopoly is NOT a game of luck. If you had 3 people play 300 games each one would not win 100 of them. The person with the most skill would win 150-200 of them. Monopoly has skill to it and so much so that I have not lost a game of monopoly in 10+years.
If you land on go you DO NOT get $400. Playing where you double the go money if you land on it infuses far too much cash into the game. When there is a ton of cash in the game it takes away a little of the needed skill and turns it more into luck.
When you land on free parking you get nothing. You don’t have to pay anything and you also don’t get to collect anything. Some people put all the money paid into the chance and community cards into the free parking spot so if you land on it, you get it. Again it not only infuses too much cash into the game but when is the last time you parked in a free parking spot and got handed $250?
If for example you own all 4 railroads but need to mortgage one that does not nullify your monopoly. Meaning if you mortgage Reading Railroad and somebody lands on one of the other 3, they still have to pay $200. All mortgaging Reading Railroad does is make it so nobody has to pay you if they land on it.
Back to basketball with the game of 21.
If your score is 13 or less and you get tipped, you go back to 0. If your score is 14 or higher and you go get tipped, you go back to 13. You can have 18, get tipped to go back to 13, then get tipped on 13 and go back to 0. I know it sucks, but it is part of the game.
When you are breaking or shooting after a made basket you shoot 3’s. No more free throws, this isn’t the 1950’s. Also once you make 3 in a row you check the ball up and are forced to score with defense again.
We are still playing basketball there are out of bounds rules. If the ball goes out of bounds the person with the lowest score gets the ball the first time. After that it goes in order to the next lowest and so on and so forth until the game is over. Once you go through the first time you have established an order and must keep that order the remainder of the game.
I wrote about this last week http://thoughtsatlarge.com/?p=1529. ABSOLUTLY NO SPINNING.
If the ball goes into the goal and then bounces out, it is still a goal. In a real soccer, which this game is based off of, all the ball has to do is cross the white goal line. It then doesn’t matter if somebody kicks the ball out or if it bounces out it is still a goal. Same goes in foosball.
If you listen to any type of media outlet over the last couple weeks you have heard about Greg Hardy. If you haven’t heard he is a NFL player who beat up his girlfriend a few months ago and this past week pictures of the attack were released. Not that I needed to say that because you can tell by looking at his picture he probably hits women.
Beating your significant other up is one of those few issues that nobody is for. I would say people hate domestic abuse as much as they hate murder. It’s also one of those issues where everybody can say they’re a hero. “What Greg Hardy did was wrong, he shouldn’t be allowed to play. How are the Cowboys letting him play?” Nobody on the planet disagrees with what I just said and most people on the planet have even said it for themselves. I have some bad news for you. Saying that does not make you a hero.
This topic makes us sound like politicians when they are asked “What would you do about little Tommy who doesn’t have access to breakfast and a good school.” The politician replies “I believe every kid including Tommy should have access to breakfast and a good school.” The person who asked the question is satisfied with the answer and the politician can label themselves a hero. Again saying that does not make you a hero.
The other thing people have done with Greg Hardy is call for sponsors to drop the Cowboys. If they start losing money from sponsors that will show them. Again, something we all agree on, but you shouldn’t feel good about yourself for saying that.
We now live in a society where actions and words are equal. I tell someone I ran a marathon and they tell me they thought about running one once. To them we are now even. We’re not though, because I actually did something!
The one common thing I have heard is somebody needs to do something about Greg Hardy. Whether that be the NFL, the Cowboys, or the sponsors. The one thing I have not heard anywhere is that you reading this need to do something. This past week the pictures came out on a Thursday. The Cowboys were schedule to play in the Sunday night game a couple of days later. That game that an 11.4 rating.
If you really are against Greg Hardy’s action as much as you say. Don’t watch the Cowboys. Can you imagine what the NFL would have done if that game got a 1.2 because people were boycotting it due to Hardy? He would have been out of the league faster than Tim Tebow. The NFL would have panicked because people actually stood up to them on this issue. Instead, everyone says they are against it, then tunes in to watch the football game. People are against domestic abuse, just not enough to skip a Sunday night football game.
To all you who complained and then watched the game, BE QUITE! You don’t really care. You say you care to get on the right side of the issue, but you don’t actually care. You are not a hero. You will say somebody should do something about this, just as long as that somebody isn’t you. You are a fraud.