“When one ceases from conflict, whether
because he has won, because he has lost, or because he cares no more for the
game, the virtue passes out of him." -- Charles Horton Cooley
There are three concepts here that represent an unusual
juxtaposition: “conflict,” “the game,” and “virtue.” Robert Lynd said, “No
doubt there are other important things in life besides conflict, but there are
not many other things so inevitably interesting. The very saints interest us
most when we think of them as engaged in a conflict with the Devil."
Conflict can certainly be interesting either as a participant or as an
observer; but “the game” and its relationship to “virtue” may be even more
The game must first offer real and present, win/lose
possibilities. If it doesn't, the virtue passes out of you. More to the point,
an immediate possibility of losing is the key to virtue. Here, “virtue” is
doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong.
The virtuous person pursues winning while doing only what is
right. “Conflict” is, then, not the tension between winning and losing. Rather,
it's the responsibility of “right” vs. the risk of “wrong.” The truly fatal
risk is not losing. It's succumbing to the temptation to sacrifice one's virtue
on the altar of success.
It's tempting to put forth a few moral pronouncements about
right and wrong; but it's your call. The take home point is simply that, if you
are a virtuous person, you know what's right and understand what's wrong. “The
game,” for you, is doing what's right and avoiding what's wrong, while playing
to win, every time. To do otherwise is to let the virtue pass out of you.
Here's Just a Random Musing
"Whoever one is, and wherever one is, one is always in the wrong if one is rude." -- Maurice Baring
You definitely don't want to be rude and undoubtedly avoid what you have come to think of as rude or vulgar behavior. Eric Hoffer punctuated the point when he said, "Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength." You are neither weak nor an imitation of anyone or anything else. You are definitely your own person and are most certainly not rude. However, there is a little tip that may come in handy now and then, even for a classy person like you. It expands your options a tad as you keep your commitment not to be rude or vulgar.
Have you heard people talking whose vocabulary seems to be so adjective challenged that everything is F'ing this or F'ing that? It can get to where it's hard to tell whether F'ing is a good quality or bad. Of course, F'ing is also sometimes a verb which one presumes refers to desirable activity but even that isn't always clear. The problem here is that F'ing has become a word that people who are even slightly literate carefully avoid, along with staying away from people who include it in their active vocabularies. This is unfortunate since F'ing actually has a lot going for it if managed thoughtfully. You are skeptical? Read on.
Do you ever have trouble sticking to your personal priorities? Even worse, do you sometimes have trouble knowing what your priorities are? The next time you find yourself struggling with what's important or what deserves your attention, remember that it's only a temporary memory laps. You have just forgotten about F'ing.
F1 = Family: What's that you are saying? You have higher priorities than your family? OK. You must be way into money or power or both. If so, you definitely have no interest in this kind of F'ing. Your kind of F'ing is quite another approach to success. Let's hope that you are very good at it and that the next person you meet isn't better at it than you. If they are, you are likely to learn a tough lesson that you are unlikely to enjoy. Nonetheless, it's your choice. The rest of us will stick with F1 = Family.
F2 = Friends: Let's restrict friends to people you could call in the middle of the night and ask them if they will do you a big favor. Sure, you can call anyone whenever you feel like it. Friends are the ones who don't ask if you have lost your F'ing mind. Actually, they don't ask anything. They just say, "Sure," and wait to see what you need. Do you have a friend like that? If so, thank your lucky stars and be sure you never do anything to jeopardize such a special relationship. You have hit the people jackpot.
F3 = Fun: There you go again, mumbling in the middle of this essay. You are too busy for fun. You have too much responsibility to take time out for fun. You are going to have lots of fun just as soon as you are successful. You have your priorities and having fun isn't one of them. Oh well, it seemed worth mentioning. While you are keeping your shoulder to the grind stone, the rest of us are going to take a little time now and then for some fun. You never know. You might notice us and decide that it looks like so much fun that you will give it a try, if you remember how. Let's hope that you still remember how once you are finished becoming successful and that you are still up to it whenever that day finally arrives.
F4 = Food: Yes, eating healthy is important and we are what we eat and there isn't any free lunch. But since you need to eat, you might as well make it a priority. It's better than Fasting which is the only other "F" word in that category. What is the absolute best snack in the world? No, don't worry about regular, every day food. You will work enough of that in without making it a priority. Think about a great snack, a totally terrific snack, the perfect snack. Do you have it in mind? Can you taste it? Is it at the center of your attention? OK. That's called prioritizing. How will you get that snack for yourself? That's called planning. Now, make that snack yours. That's called performance. There you go. Prioritize, Plan, Perform. That snack is yours.
F5 = Faith: This one is easy. Have faith in your family. Have faith in your friends. Have fun while you prioritize, plan, and perform. Most importantly, have faith in you. If you do, you are assuredly going to be an F'ing success. Now just how cool is that? Sure, it's F'ing cool.