Thursday, November 19, 2015

50: get out of the house

yep, i got a sitter to go out to a fun event tonight, and the event got cancelled, so i am going out tonight to find and/or make a fun event. wish me luck.see you tomorrow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJMLJVha5sw

I will let Chellie Campbell write for us instead:
The Lesson I Learned From "Mr. Grumpy"

 - Excerpt from Chellie’s latest book “From Worry to Wealthy”

I experienced amazing joy and happiness one ordinary, unremarkable day, when I was playing poker. The clatter of chips and the shuffling of cards played background music to the conversation of the players. Now and then, the dealer would call “Seat open!” and a floorman would escort another player to a table.

The nine players at my table were all sizes, shapes, and colors. Some were Asian, some Persian, some black, some white-bread American like me. We were all enjoying the game, taking turns winning a pot, whining a little when we got beat.

A wizened old man who spoke with some sort of European accent was losing a bit more than the rest of us. I named him “Mr. Grumpy” in my mind as he threw his cards on the table with a curse again.

“Just take your losses with good grace or go home,” I thought primly to myself.

A brash young player named David sitting next to me lost his patience. “Don’t throw your cards like that,” he lectured the old man. “Mr. Grumpy” yelled back at him and as he did, his shirt sleeve fell askew, and I saw the tattoo on his arm. A blue tattoo, a number. Like they engraved on you at Auschwitz. Or Sobibor. Or Bergen-Belsen. As he stood up waveringly, clutching his cane, and then stalked off for a few minutes, I thought of what horrors this man had seen, what terrors he must have endured in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany.

David hadn’t noticed it. He continued to complain about the old man shuffling out the door.

 “They should reprimand him for throwing cards,” he said angrily. “He shouldn’t be allowed to play.”

“He has a tattoo,” I said.

All the players looked at me.

“He has a tattoo,” I said again. “Here.” I motioned to my arm. “A concentration camp tattoo.”

“Oh.”

“Oh.”

Nothing else was said. In the silence, I could see everyone at the table making an inner shift to understanding, sorrow, kindness. He had a tattoo. We all knew what it meant. And we knew that none of us knew what it meant.

When he came back to the table, the Chinese man next to him helped him with his chair. The Iranian player smiled and nodded. The old man showed his cards at the end of the next hand he played, and several people said, “Nice hand.” I saw David’s winning cards as he folded them face down and smiled at me conspiratorially. “Good job, David,” I whispered, as we watched our newly discovered friend rake in the pot. A little moment, a little gift, a little win. But I had won something bigger than a few chips that day.

As I threw my own cards into the muck, my focus on the game dissolved; I looked around the tables at the players and saw Indians, Arabs, Persians, Israelis, Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese. I saw African-Americans, Jamaicans, Latinos, Swedes, French, Vietnamese, and Thai. Men, women, old, young, sober, tipsy, rich, poor, criminal, virtuous, all were playing.

And in that moment, I saw the tattoos on all of them. Tattoos of sorrows endured and tragedies survived. Tattoos written in invisible ink of courage, of shame, of glory. And all these tattooed warriors sat next to each other, playing the next hand they were dealt in the card game of life.

In that moment, I just loved everyone in the room, and in all rooms everywhere.

And so, sometimes, when someone is cranky, or tired, or out-of-sorts, I recall that somewhere deep, in some hidden spot on their soul, they wear a tattoo. They’ve suffered in ways of which I am unaware. They’re struggling with issues I may not have had to face. I’ve heard it said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle.” Yes. We all carry sorrows and wounds from the past.

When I am conscious enough, I smile at them in remembrance of this ordinary day when, for a few brief moments, I knew that and honored them all.

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Chellie Campbell is the creator of the Financial Stress Reduction® Workshops, and author of The Wealthy Spirit, Zero to Zillionaire, and From Worry to Wealthy. She has been prominently quoted as a financial expert in the Los Angeles Times, Good Housekeeping, Lifetime, Essence, Woman’s World and more than 50 popular books. She can be reached at Chellie@chellie.com

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