In poker, what you don’t do or show in response to a deal can be a betraying as what you do.

The game of poker was best described to me as a game about people played by using cards. If you know your opponent very well, it really doesn’t matter what you have in your hand… just how you play the game.

The best hand in poker (At least Texas Hold’em) to be dealt is a pair of Aces. Against non-novice players, this hand will win a vast majority of the times it’s dealt. The trick is not to let people know you’ve been dealt it. You look at your cards and you start to think.

“Don’t react. First off don’t react. Okay, great hand… Do I play weakly and hope they play into me? What if they get ahead of me on a chance? Do I play strongly? Will they think I’m bluffing? Will they believe I’m strong and back off? Do I…”

And then it hits you… “How long have I been thinking?” In not giving any indicators… you give an indicator. The cæsura becomes just as much an enemy to you to betray the feelings you have. Your desire and need to hide a Tell has only created a bigger one.

I love Poker. While at the same time I suppose it should be more of a bittersweet acknowledgment of how deftly it reflects reality and the world around us.

end, part the first.

I dated someone (a while ago) that got into an argument with me over semantics.

We witnessed a couple (also) on vacation. The woman in the couple was walking about 10 feet ahead of her male partner who was following behind looking rather unhappy about the fact that he was dragging 3 large suitcases. The woman leading was carrying one small (personal?) handbag.

My (then) significant other noted that what we saw was how things should be. It was absolutely appropriate for him to be carrying the bags. I pointed out that he should be doing it if he wanted to.. not because it was expected of him. And thus the debate began. “Men should act in a chivalrous manner” vs. “Men should feel the desire to be chivalrous for its own sake not because chivalry is demanded”

As I was dumped within about 48 hours of this pronouncement… one can assume that agreement was never fully found.

To me the bottom line of this failed debate was that you do not live up to society’s expectations of you because society expects them of you. You live up to them (for lack of a better word) because you grok them or at least have made the conscious attempt.

Yes, you can fully do something for reasons that you are unclear on. But to deny the question of “why do we do this” is very foreign to me. Laws and rules are designed to aid society. I will happily stand up and state that there are laws and rules that exist that I disagree with in no uncertain terms. Do I therefore follow them blindly? Do I undermine them? Am I a radical felon hiding from justice?

I follow laws and rules. I’m also no fool, I will stand on the fifth amendment as to whether or not I have ever broken a law. But then again, let he who’s never driven over the speed limit throw the first accusation. That being said… following a law, rule, practice, or custom that I disagree with on a fundamental level takes careful consideration. Understanding of why I disagree with it. Doing my best to change it within the system if I reasonably feel it needs to be changed. And understanding the ramifications if it is broken. I may not wish to follow a law, rul… etc… but further, the consequences of violating it, may be more offensive.

At least in my world…

Truth is akin to conviction of belief with an understanding that your belief may always be wrong and that you must be open to change. The hardest part is hoping that others will afford you the same chance of change when their convictions are challenged.

The truth is… rarely are others open to having their convictions or belief argued with.

The Operative: Are you willing to die for your beliefs?
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: I am…

Shepherd Book: I don’t care what you believe in, just believe in it

Shepherd Book: When I talk about belief, why do you always assume I’m talking about God?

end, part the second.

I took a course in college. “Contemporary Drama.” This was probably one of my all-time favourite classes in college because it got to the core (in my opinion) of my fundamental beliefs in education. Education is only tangentially designed to teach you facts. Education is to teach you how to think. Emphasis on how, not what.

The course work seemed simple enough. We would read a play aloud in class (or in single cases watch or listen to a show). The professor would then ask one simple question.

What did you think?

There were no right answers. There were no wrong answers. You had two requirements.
1) Have an answer
2) Support your answer

The beauty of this is that “I don’t know” as an answer for #1 could garner you an “A” or an “F” depending on #2. Answering “I don’t know” almost became a challenge to undertake for added prestige. Well, it would have become a challenge if you were trying to “throw an answer” The prof was amazingly intelligent, observant, and at times unbiased. He’d be able to tell if your support undermined your response. An “I don’t know” by definition demanded double the support because you’d have to show conflicting reasons that left you at an absolutely undecided balance point concerning the show. More often than not, talking thru the support of the answer would lead you to find a bias. Fortunately, your first answer could be changed.

Did I mention this was typically an oral response in a class of 25?

end, part the third.

I believe in the power of fraternity. I heard a story from a friend who was making a delivery for a coworker. He was delivering a loan request at a bank for his boss. The loan officer initially dismissed the request. My friend then corrected that it wasn’t for him it was for his boss (who he named). My friend was wearing a ring that he wears. It is not associated with any organization but has been mistaken as much. The loan official looked at my friend and noticed the ring and said, “Oh, you’re a brother.”

My friend responded “I’m sorry to correct you sir, but I’m not.” and then added, “Does that make a difference?” The official paused and said, “I really shouldn’t answer that question. But, I know (name of boss) and I’m pretty sure we can get things taken care of for him.”

Do I believe in breaking the rules on behalf of someone you’re in a fraternity with? No. Do I believe in giving a higher benefit of the doubt to someone who has joined in an organization with you than someone you’ve never met? Yes. Workplace, activity, organization, fraternity. These are people you choose to be around. These are people you share a common bond with. It doesn’t matter whether or not you have a personal issue with one or not.

I believe in extending the luxuries I have attained to those who are close to me. Whether it be chosen family or fraternity. I will open my house to someone because there is a connection. If it is within my power to help someone constructively in my circle from the means I’ve been given; I see it as part an parcel of the community I wish to grow.

I suppose one could mull over the question.. is there someone you’d take a bullet for?

But again, I do this because I believe it is the behaviour one should extend. Certainly, the behaviour can and should be retracted if advantage is pressed or worse someone is doing so because of expectation.

A common debate that I will not get into on this post (nor likely respond to comments on) is the theory that financial donation must come from a pure desire to support, not a repercussive fear of failure.

‘…an anonymous gift is “a commandment fulfilled for its own sake”, rather than done in order to obtain honor.’ – Maimonides

end, part the fourth.

I wish I always had the perfect answer. I wish I could do so quickly with a smile that correctly conveyed the desired motivation and meaning behind it. I am that I am. A common curse in astrology of those that share sun and rising sign. People naturally assume that your words carry a double meaning or emotional coercion. Even when they don’t.

It’s a horrible double edged sword. In work, In organizations, when you are not merely judged by your words, deeds, and actions but also on the hearsay of said words, deeds, and actions regardless of the truth, meaning, and motivation or second and third hand interpretation behind them.

Perform your actions based on the truths you believe in. Know your convictions.
Such could be viewed as a definition of faith.

You can only try to judge the human element… Respond within the confines of the rules you know you must follow no matter how hard they conflict within you.

And when you fail to respond in a timely manner…. Take solace that online at least you can claim that you were called away or lost net connectivity as an answer to why your cæsura is seeming to come off like a tell that will ruin your hand.

end, the post…

but like most stories in life

To be continued

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