I don’t have to be wrong for you to be right….

Sometimes a little word like “Tolerance”, gets lost in the shuffle. In today’s wickedly quick changing world; some folks have forgotten that: “I don’t have to be wrong, for you to be right.”  In a lot of situations- there are lots of “right ways” to do – or say- or be- something.  Authoritarians would have you believe there is only one way. Nope.

If you like being on the water, you can use a float, a boat, a wave runner, a raft, a canoe, a sailboat, a yacht; no matter which you use; fun will be had. Why? Because the purpose was to get out on the water, how you do it isn’t as important.  The Canoe guy, isn’t wrong, the girl on the wave rider, isn’t wrong, and the couple on the yacht – aren’t either.  All of them, if they have little or no tolerance, will judge the other types of water vehicles- and their occupants, just from the kind of craft they are in. Making them “Wrong.”


Go to college, get a degree. Wrong. Not today- college is yet another business. Get a skill, get another skill, keep learning, and go back to school for something you want to learn, and you use college for education- bingo! Want a job or a career? If you don’t push yourself to find what you want out of life, you will end up spending a great deal of time living someone else’s dream. You like to work with your hands, then build things, or design things, or fix things.  None of your choices will be wrong.

You don’t need a $40,000 Harley to enjoy riding a motorcycle. You can build one for less than 4 grand. You will have as much fun on the open road, as any big hog. It isn’t the money, or the style, or the price that gives you a thrill, it is the open road. There are as many ways to live your life, as you can possibly think of. People will always tell you how to live it- and they will be wrong. It is your life, even  if they are right about the consequences you might face- life is not without risk. Risky behavior may lead to some lousy outcomes, but not taking a risk, can lead to a place where you never grow, you never have to think for yourself, and you stay stuck. Just barely living, although fully alive.

What you may want to consider, is changing the wording around. Instead of judgement calls : “Right or Wrong;” perhaps, you can switch to “Effective, or Ineffective.” Did what I did, get me what I wanted? No? Then you discard that ineffective way. Try another. Find a way that fits – it may be completely unexpected to workout for you – yet it does.

I left the Army to go into comedy. I gave up retirement and a career to pursue something I loved. Was I wrong? Maybe, the retirement pension looks mighty good from this end of my life. Yet, I got to do radio, TV, make commercials, and Industrial film, sail around the world, and perform in all fifty states and three other countries – without a degree in any of those fields. I have friends who are “famous”,  I have been interviewed in many newspapers, and written a few articles and books, and produced DVD’s and CD’s – working with graphic designers and sound engineers. Not one asked me for my degree.

Was I wrong? Was I right? Who cares? I lived my life, mostly my way – and even if you think you are right about me; I wasn’t wrong. Neither are you.

Righteous, self -righteous, and wrong.

Hey Gang, This happened to me this afternoon. Sheesh.  ( After I wrote this, I wasn’t to proud of myself. So much to learn, if you want to be Super at Sixty.)

We  were at Wal-Mart picking up a new  mop; so that I could come home and finish washing and waxing floors. Earlier in the day I had been out walking and got caught in a thunderstorm–well, actually a rainstorm. Kathy  saw how hard it was raining, climbed in the truck and came and got her poor drenched husband. I just wiped off when I got home, I didn’t bother taking a shower.

So back at the Wal-Mart, I get the mop, and it starts raining again. Kathy, gracious- as always, goes out to get the truck–since she never gets sick from being wet or cold. So little wimpy me was waiting by the exit door. A car pulls up, and a lady gets out–who is in obvious pain. She has a walker cane–that she places in front of her as she takes tiny little baby steps to struggle the 6 or so feet to the door.

I hold my mop up in front of the sensor–to keep the doors open. Another lady blocks the doors with her cart. Yet another guy,  stands on the other side to make sure the doors don’t close on this woman. She takes about 4 1/2 min. to cross the little 6 or 8 feet to the inside of the store. We all wait patiently for her, as she constantly apologizes. We all say: “That’s quite  all right miss. Take your time.”

She is headed towards one of those little electric carts they have in the store. She is about 3 feet away–when a 300 pound lady, also with a walking cane, literally runs in front of her and jumps in the cart. She came from the hallway on the other side. She picked up her cane and ran, to beat this lady to the electric car. The woman who was in actual need of the cart–stopped her little tiny steps, and said:
“Ms., I cannot push myself in a wheelchair, I need one of those electric carts.”

The Fat woman says: “You can have this one when I’m done.”

Then she folds her arms across her chest and sits in the cart without moving. Her husband then comes up, sees the look on the other woman’s face, and says: “Honey, why don’t we take the wheelchair like normal?” The woman gets very angry says: “I got the electric cart 1st. It’s mine. Now unplug me.” He bends over and pulls the cart plug away from the wall, she still doesn’t move the cart.

Instead, she tells her husband to go in the store, and she will find him. Then she sits and glares at all of us looking at her. No one else had said a word. The  poor little lady who could not walk at all, was actually in tears.
“What am I going to do? I can’t walk any farther. My daughter can’t push me, because she had surgery on her wrists.”

Just then the daughter comes in, with both her wrists in Casts. Now everybody glares at the woman in the electric cart. She turns beet red, and does not move.

I tell the lady who really couldn’t walk;
“I will go get a manager, and an electric cart. You just wait here. We will sort this out.”

I then left and got the manager, a lady named: “Jane.” I explained the situation as quickly as I could–and without all the emotion I was feeling. She looked at me, and said:

“I have another cart, and I have a police officer. I will go get them both, and we will have a little talk with that other lady. Thank you for coming over.”

I went back and told the lady and her daughter, that the manager would be over with an electric cart, and a police officer to speak with the other woman. Well, the woman who had run (Run!) to grab the electric cart, still hadn’t moved. Just sitting with her big butt in the cart. Glared at me: “What did you get a policeman for?”

I totally ignored her. The woman who couldn’t really walk, gave me a quick pat on the hand – she couldn’t even let go of her walker to hug me. Her daughter did hug me, with her double casts on. The Other woman, the fat one said:
“Why’s everyone so concerned about her?”

No one answered her. Just then Kathy beeped and I got in the truck and we left. I told her about the Drama, and she laughed – “Kevin, you can find someone to help anywhere.”

I thought about that for a while. You know, I really wanted to say something ugly to the fat lady who ran (Ran!) to get the cart first, and then just sat in it without moving. I didn’t. I wonder if I did the right thing? I know it would have just escalated the situation; and maybe she has her own problems (obviously), but I didn’t want to let my mouth open, or I would have said things I couldn’t have taken back.

Like the only reason she couldn’t walk (but she could RUN) is because she was so fat. Real fat. But then again, so am I. Then I was going to say she was so full of herself and selfish, but then, so am I. I was going to say : Think about others for a change.” Then I realized I don’t do that all the time either.
I was left in a quandary. I didn’t say anything to her at all. Yet, I had all kinds of emotions in my mind. Ugly ones. I don’t think I could be that unkind if I wanted to, but then I thought: “Well, you were kind to the one lady, but certainly not to the other one.” So even my own brain recognized I wasn’t being kind, except selectively.

What the whole thing proved to me, is this: I have a lot of work to do on myself.

Thanks for listening, Kevin at home.