Podcast

Everybody Plays The Fool

Transcripts (partial) for the first episode

Back in 1972, there was a group called The Main Ingredient. And the headliner was a guy by the name of Cuba Gooding Sr. The lyrics are right on time because they reminded me of what happened when I was in the Marine Corps. 

Back in 1984, we just had a big party at our house. On Friday night, there was tons of people, tons of women, tons of dancing, tons of liquor. We were having a good time y’all and one of the Marines drank a lot. That was the thing, he drank until he was stupid often. And this time I believe he was trying to get the nerve up to propose to a young lady. And by the end of the night, she had turned him down. Nobody knew that, but he went to bed heartbroken. And after only a few hours of sleep, he got up and went to work. 

This week, we’re talking about relationships. Yeah. Even those who don’t have one, you see sometimes you think that you’ll never get one that you’ll always be stuck; that you’re always be alone, that you will always be isolated. And this lack of hope, this feeling that your situation will never change is what’s bringing you down. 

Before I share a story with you, a true story, by the way, I want to let you know that if you think that you won’t be missed or that the world would be better off without you, you are wrong. The opinions expressed on this show will be coming from my belief and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and from my life’s experiences. I’ll be quoting from the Holy Bible. I’ll be quoting from the Talmud, the Torah and even Motown. Yeah, you would not expect me to stay that last one, were you?   Well, this week’s show is called…

Everybody plays the fool 

He worked a midnight shift at the American embassy. I was as his relief the next morning. So, when I arrived a little bit before 6:00 AM in my Dress Blues to relieve him, I watched him preparing to sign off of the post. He was writing in the logbook. He was muttering to himself and then did something that I have never seen anybody do before he unholstered his service revolver. He cocked the hammer back and put the barrel to his temple. I heard him mumble some of the things that most people say when they think that nobody loves them, that nobody cares, that they’ll never have anybody, that their love has been rejected. 

And then my feet got two wings. I flew, I was able to catch the gun before the trigger fell. I was able to tackle my friend and take the revolver away from it. I was able to console him until I had reinforcement. It didn’t stop there. As we were talking to him, as we were calling other people, trying to figure out what to do, he went into a seizure. He fell into a pool in the middle of the lobby and almost drowned. I mean, he was, the pool was only about six inches deep, but in his state, if I had left him there, he would have surely drowned. So, we pulled him out. We didn’t know about what to do when there was a seizure. 

So, we’re looking for name tags, and that’s what we found. 

Actually, we’re looking for things to put in his mouth so that he won’t swallow his tongue. We thought that was what you were supposed to do, and it was all wrong and bad advice. But he rolled around, and we finally turned him on his side, and we held him until the medics came. Not quite sure what happened, afterwards but they took him away. And in our debrief, I mentioned, yeah, by the way, he also was trying to hurt himself. 

The lyrics to that song start off with,

okay, so your heart is broken. You’re sitting around moping, crying, crying. You said you were even thinking about dying. Well, before you do anything, rash, baby, dig this. 

-Main Ingredient

And then it starts the hook.

I’ve learned several things about relationships over my years. 

One is that courtship, relationship and dating, and all that is probably our least practiced thing that we do socially. And some people have the social skills of a first grader and they still have crushes. And they still think certain things done by others classify as advances and acknowledgements, and whatever in a relationship and most of the time they are not. 

So, some of the best people who know about the human dynamic are basically prostitutes, con artists and predators. Folks who have practiced the craft of the human dynamic. The bad part about that is you’re also so tainted that don’t appreciate love anymore. You don’t appreciate genuine feelings anymore. You are almost numb to giving somebody a chance, but if you haven’t dated that many people, then the instances that happened to you are even more severe. The events that happen in your life and your social life look even more tragic. 

If you’re prospecting for love and you’re only looking in a bucket, then your chances are fewer. If you move to a pond, you have better chances to catch something. If you move to a river, even better, if you move to a lake even better, if you move to an ocean, almost unlimited chances of what could be caught. And then the problem is, do you keep what you caught, or do you throw it back? How do you know when you got something good? How do you not mess up what you did catch? How do you cultivate and work with what you have? Some people give up too quick. Most of us give up too quick. I know some guys who are on a timeline and as soon as they get the car, soon as they get the house, they are looking for a wife and they don’t look far. They look as far as they can throw when their best partner might be in another state, another country, but they are limited because they are inexperienced in the things of relationships. 

And again, it goes both ways. There are those who have screwed everybody, and now they can’t feel anything anymore. They don’t know good when they have it. And they start to second guess themselves about maybe that one was okay, and I messed up. And again, comparison is the thief of joy. The song further goes on to say

 that falling in love is such an easy thing to do, but there’s no guarantee that the one you love is going to love you loving eyes. They cannot see a certain person could never be love, runs deeper than any ocean. It clouds your mind with emotion. 

See, this is good stuff, right? My Marine buddy had been drinking for so long that the alcohol had become a depressant to him. It had changed his physical makeup, his body makeup, even though he wasn’t in good shape, being a Marine, he was suffering with depression. 

Back to the story:  Alcohol kept him there. He drank, he thought to make him feel better, but it always made him crash lower than he had to be. We found out later that he had some other chemical imbalances and with proper care he got straight– and the woman that he was so in love with that had turned him down, just wasn’t ready. It was a happy ending.  Then I believe they got together again after he got dried out a little bit. 

Your perfect mate, your relationship, the person that you’re looking for may not be within a stone’s throw, or you might not be ready for a relationship right now because of your mindset because of how you are. And you have to own that. You have to own both. 

Are you ready? And are you looking in the right places? And if you are, what are you looking for? Don’t put the pressure on yourself about your age and what other people are doing. 

All of that helps you get sad, helps you get down about where you are in your life. Everybody has their own path to take. And sometimes you got to make a stupid mistake to learn. Failing helps you. Sometimes if you can realize your mistake and not repeat it because everybody plays the fool sometimes. So, you’re making yourself sick. 

You’re thinking about your mortality and it can be overwhelming. And before there was a pandemic, you’re watching folks die. You’re forced to see loved ones through screens or not at all. 

And this how we process things, people are grieving and trying to work through it. We’re in the midst of trying to stay safe from viruses and angry people. Mobs, zealots, riots are out there. Are you beating yourself up right now? Are you making your situation worse? 

It would be wise for us to give relationships at least the same amount of thought and time we give to exercise. If you’re a leader of a community at work in your neighborhood or anywhere, invest time in helping people strengthen their relationships with each other.  

Start by taking care of yourself. Intentionally preserve and deepen relationships with close friends and family. Have more than one person you are close to. People who rely on you and whom you can be comfortably rely upon. If you find yourself on the path of feeling utterly, alone and despaired, if you feel like the only way out is death, turn to a person you trust. They will be so happy that you did. And ultimately you will be too. If there isn’t someone like that in your life. Turn to people who care about you. 

No matter what you’re going through, you are strong enough to get through it, to get around it, to get under it. 

And you don’t want to quit before the cake is done. How you get out will teach you somethings, it will strengthen you. It will make you better tomorrow. But if you quit now, if you die tonight, you’ll never learn. You’ll never get better. You’ll never make it what you’re trying to do. You’ll never succeed.

I want you to make it. I want you to succeed. If you think that if you’re gone, you won’t be missed or that the world will be better off without you. I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong. 

In every episode, I’m going to try and give you a tip on how to get through tough times. Are you ready for this weeks? This week is the nine habits that drain your focus every day. 

If you can overcome these nine things, you’ll do better tomorrow. You ready tip of the week, here are nine habits that drain your focus every day. 

The first one is saying yes to everything. If you say no more often, you’ll make room for it really matters to you. And you have calendar filled with events that you really want to do. And not the ones that you don’t really want to do in the first place. 

The second wasting time versus relaxing. If you want to relax, then really relax. Do not waste your time on activities that do not do anything for you. Watch how the activity is making you feel and change it. 

If you don’t feel better afterwards, number three, watching quick fire videos, episodes, most YouTube videos and TV shows force your brain into quick fire mode with their countless signals, bright colors and loud noises. And it will ruin your long-term low fire concentration mode as you get used to them. Ooh, never knew that one before, right? 

Four – being hydrated. A lack of water means a lack of oxygen for your burning, which it thrives or die supply. So, keep the oxygen flow high, drink more water, 

Number five, trying to multitask. Believe it or not. It is physically impossible to multitask. Your brain cannot handle it and just switches between task very quickly. But by doing so, it drains your energy far, faster than if you just stuck to one thing. 

Number six, eating heavy foods, heavy foods, take more energy from your body to digest afterwards. They give more energy as well, but you need to account for about one to two hours of digestion after eating a heavy meal that will make it harder to focus. The tip here, eat light, stay active, stay focused. 

Number seven, an unclean environment. Why do you think top performing CEO offices are always spotless is because they know they will feel better in a clean environment? And so will you get rid of the junk, remove everything unnecessary and keep your space clean. You’ll be able to create more, think more, do more, relax, better. 

Number eight, getting hooked on instant rewards. This is a big one. Folks are always trying to sell you something. Everything that gives you an instant release of dopamine is bad for your long-term projects, including focus. When you switch from instant dopamine to something that takes you far longer, there’ll be far more difficult to sustain yourself. 

And finally, number nine, not planning your day, fully leave some space in your calendar and you will find a way to drain your focus. During that time white space or only an opening for yourself to resort to your old destructive habits. Don’t try to keep yourself busy but try to make yourself do things that are constructive. That can, you can take your plate off tomorrow. Make tomorrow better. Just want to do something for tomorrow. You know that idle hands are the devil’s workshop. Think about that. Don’t waste time. You can’t own it. You can’t buy more of it. You can’t save any of it. 

Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. And once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back. All right, that’s it for this week.