Guest Blogger:  Christian Lyons came to the blog through a fortuitous search related to a Star Wars hoodie he owns, loves, and cherishes despite what anyone may think about it.  He is delighted to have a chance to participate. 

 

 

Everybody’s got reasons.  I’ve got mine.  Just take this list:

  1. Has foul smells wafting from dirty places.
  2. Makes it very hard to get home on weekends.
  3. Makes me think that, while money isn’t everything, life sure would be better with more.
  4. More work than anticipated.
  5. Makes strange, high-pitched sounds at unusual times.
  6. Sometimes makes me feel claustrophobic.

“Umm, okay… but a list of reasons for what?” you might be asking. 

Maybe reasons why I regret buying a used compact car.  Or why I don’t miss NYC.  Or, more likely, my friends’ explanations of why I’m still single.  (Don’t ask about #5.  Long story.)

Or maybe it’s this: The list is why you shouldn’t run your own bakery, gamble at reservation casino, go to jail, be a primary teacher, be a doctor, or be a customer service agent in a Bangalore call center. 

Really, check the list. It supports them all.  Somehow, in the end, anything can support anything.  (How else could America have more than a million lawyers?)

The other day, I told my girlfriend we were going to play a game.  The game was called “You don’t love me because….”  For 60 seconds, I mentioned everything I noticed about why she didn’t love me. 

“…because you’re not looking at me when I talk.” 

“…because you’re drinking soda without offering me any.” 

“…because you’re eavesdropping on French tourists instead of listening.”

“…because….”

After 45 seconds, I was starting to convince myself.  So, I turned the game around:  “I love you because…”

“…because you are more beautiful than 70%-off sales, mornings without morning breath, and unlimited tapioca pudding at Golden Corral.”

“…because you are kinder than baby bunnies and honeysuckle blossoms and cashmere toilet paper.” 

We both liked this game better.  And if you asked me which I’d want to play again, of course I’d choose the latter.

But that’s the rub.  Most of the time, we’re not aware of the game we’re playing.  And too frequently, we’re playing games like these: 

“Oh, man, work sucks because….”

“I’m so disorganized/busy/tired, just look….”

“I have to look good today because….”

And whatever game we’re playing, we win.

We see in our lives–like we see in the clouds–whatever we’re looking for.  But rather than blowing away, our stories accumulate.  

Rather than evaluating evidence to make a decision, we decide and take evidence that fits our evaluation. And the world presents us with enough evidence to be our own Perry Masons.  And like Perry, we will not lose.  Even if winning means proving that you don’t love me.

I hope I remember to choose the right game.

 

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Bonus Activity

The link leads to a short video of two teams passing basketballs.  Count how many times the white team passes or dribbles the ball.  (Don’t worry about the first bounce pass.)  After you’ve watched it, check your total by clicking through to the comments page for this post.  (If you get within two or three, you can consider yourself superior to about 97% of people.)

http://viscog.beckman.illinois.edu/flashmovie/15.php

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