Monday mornings, the past few weeks, has been a grind. Luckily I don’t have to wake up at 3 am like many do. I do get up just after five and head out to the Philly airport. My week begins with that long, arduous, painful, nearly six-hour flight to San Francisco. Sitting on the barren US Airways airplane along with many of my fellow human beings gives me some assurance that I am not alone on this grind. I have been seeing the very same people – many of them – and in week three I even know one guy’s name!! Yay! That is because he happened to be sitting in my seat, but he was courteous enough to let me sit in his. It didn’t matter to me as both were aisle seats. Then halfway into the flight, the flight attendant comes by and looks at me – ‘Frank?’. I nod my head and then this other guy says we switched seats. He is offered a first class upgrade that he willing takes. I would have too – no doubt about it. It makes it a tad more comfortable sitting in a bigger seat with people with bigger egos as they don’t physically touch you. Else, you have egos fighting for elbow and baggage spaces and of course the prior rush to board ahead of others. Blame the airlines for these poor souls who lose a lot of early morning sleep and don’t have a choice – there is no system of boarding in an orderly manner. There is some order to it and that is called privileged card holders and zone numbers, but it is like trying to color code some sheep – a lot of them – among an even larger number! A simple baggage space attached to a seat would do the trick, but you have to wait for some sort of disaster for the airlines management to think of simple things now-a-days.
You would think the drive at six am on the Schuylkill and 476 would be easy, but the rush to airport in these days, another irony, of otherwise trying to save travel time takes over. Adding to this rush are those macho contractors and utility men and some women in their huge trucks trying to push you out of their way. Today I could literally see the face of the driver behind me in his big truck for over 30 seconds. And that is a lot of proximity that I wouldn’t even permit my closest friend on a sunny morning! Nobody can tell these tailgaters on the roads – I have to stop myself for fear of uttering some obscene words. Show them the finger and you are the one to lose as I have come to learn. You just hope everything goes well and he or she gets the lesson, I mean the finger, from someone else.
As my day started with irony and sarcasm, I wanted to continue my satire. There is no dearth of material if one wants to be a satirist in this world. I could keep writing every day, but I am sure I would lose all of my friends. Well, most of them at least and maybe those that I care too. So read on.
It is funny how we people behave whether we are twenty or fifty years old. Some of us don’t learn even when we are in the midst of a lot of learning material and people. We post a lot of messages on social media about leaving out ego, doing the right things, setting ourselves up as the finest example of compassion, caring, loving and doing them all right. But practice is where many of us score a failing grade very easily; I mean if God were the judge, he would score most of us as failed in a fraction of a millisecond. Lots of reasons. Here goes. We don’t recognize that everyone is imperfect. We don’t learn that we need to overlook each other’s faults and see the positives primarily, hoping the negatives will get corrected. We hold others to a different standard than what we hold ourselves to. I mean we hold ourselves to a lower standard not the other way around and we hardly realize it. Take for example, the many committees that you are a member of. We become part of committees for some group or other in the hope of being able to do something good – er, in common speak, to give something back – let’s be pompous anyway about it as this is a satire! Very soon we turn out to be behaving as two years olds vying for attention always and trying to assert that it was I who did this and it is I who did that. If I don’t get attention, I will make sure I get it by sending out messages that go out from someone else who is willing to do that favor for you. No sir – I don’t want to get my image muddied by sending out the same message. I am beyond these small things – after all, I am here to do good and not wanting any credit for the same, right? These few of us then take the responsibility of making sure we are always one-up on the rest i.e., garner the most of the time available, push out our own personal agendas, promote our own people, exclude those that we don’t like and include only those who are compatible with us. I mean include those who don’t pose any opposition to the engine that is us. What is surprising is we live among many excellent people who are always setting examples and we just don’t get it. We just refuse to learn – that is because I know it all and am always right, right? Whether it is taking tips about hygiene, providing the best possible experience at an event or the best food or in general setting a good example, we refuse to observe and learn – the few again. What do you say when as the President, you exclude a key advisor on matters of politics just because the advisor is objective in all his or her feedback and gives them, no matter what? If you aren’t open to accepting criticism, then a President will be surrounded by cronies only.
Feeling, feelings, feelings. We all have a lot of feelings. These are essentially what makes up the fragile wall around our own inner being that provide a means of knowing who gets to be dear to us and who doesn’t. It doesn’t matter if these walls of ours are fragile by our own making. I have built this wall and it is strong, it can withstand bullets as well as arrows of love – that’s what I feel. We treat this wall differently when we look at it from the outside as opposed to looking at it from the inside. The same wall becomes invisible sometimes or at least impervious. My wall is all deep red, so you should see it. But I can wear those new glasses – these make me color-blind as long as I have them, yay! Such nice technology. This technology is something the limit-to-less-wisdom or the limit-to-less-open invented, so I can be proud of it – you can hear them saying. I know everyone has them, but mine is that uniquely different and hence special. I can wear these of my own volition and nobody can see it – that’s the beauty of it.
Too much satire? Maybe, for now. Three hours into the flight – you can see my mind has taken this devious turn. I did spend some time updating the presentation deck. Those updates to the financials point-of-view will have to wait. Right now, I can play Al Pacino in a movie better than himself. Even after half hour of writing a satire, my desire to satire hasn’t abated. Now I have to see what else I can do to cool down. Have a good day, will write again! The Uber ride with the real estate agent out of SFO was interesting talk about Philadelphia.