Keeping score

I keep score, but I don’t like to.

It’s a paradox, for certain, and let me explain.

For my job, my career, I keep score. Who wins and who loses. Who scored the winning basket, how many yards were given up, strikeouts, and first place finishes. All of those things are what I keep track of.

But they’re games. Games with a beginning, middle and an end and they last just a couple of hours. Then it’s time to prepare for the next game.

In life, though, is where it seems in my old home state is where the scoreboard is kept, too. And it’s so wrong.

People here look at what they have and what others have and allow envy to creep in and overtake them. It’s not even a creep. It’s there, almost always there.

They get easily offended by the smallest of things, expecting others to live up to honor and decency when they go and invite the worst as an offending party themselves.

And that’s where the scoreboard comes into play. They’ll keep tabs on who’s better and it’s over a lifetime. So and so got an award that I believe I deserved, so I’m going to do this dastardly deed.

Eye for an eye. Tooth for a tooth.

And to hell with human decency.

Grudges are kept, too.

When I look back at my years in Wisconsin, perhaps so close to Minnesota, I think that’s the biggest difference between here and there. Maybe that’s the essence of Minnesota Nice.

It didn’t seem like people there were keeping score. They weren’t interested in competing with their friends and neighbors for the biggest and best at everything. They look at their neighbors and say, ‘Well, that’s nice.’

It felt more grain of the earth to me than this.

Maybe it’s the pull of the East Coast, where superficiality takes precedence over honor, integrity and values. Maybe I’m just an old spirit inside this body who is bothered by what I see as people trying to get theirs all the time.

I can’t put my finger on why it bothers me so much, but after spending the past six months back in my home state, I feel I clearly can see that there is a distinct difference between people here and people back in Wisconsin.

And I’m all for looking out for yourself, doing well for yourself, excelling and being the best you can be. But does it have to be at the expense of others? Do I have to brag or carry on about things? Does it have to be so negative? I’d like to think not.

And it’s on the scoreboard. Their scoreboard of life.

I’m on a journey instead. One with experiences and life and love.

The scoreboard never tells that story.

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