A Game that Can’t Be Won, It Can Only Be Played

Like most Americans, I’m watching a lot more TV these days than I’d like to. Whiling away the hours with only an electronic idiot box for company is not my preferred pastime, but unfortunately many of our state governors (including mine) are still not allowing us to play golf. I’m hoping that changes soon as we pass the “surge” of Covid 19 that the media is hyping to instill fear in our population and leadership, but in the meantime we make do with what we have.

“Golf is a game that can’t be won. It can only be played.” The words spoken by Will Smith in “Bagger Vance” are indicative of the life we’re living right now. There’s no winning scenario at this stage of a “pandemic” with a death toll still short of our annual flu numbers. Leave your homes en masse and maybe thousands more sicken and die. Shelter in place for another month and we won’t have a viable economy left to sustain us when it is over.

The only certainty is that, whatever happens, one side of the political fence will blame the other. Despite that, there are still a few things we can all hopefully agree on. This week, instead of singling out one individual as our “weekly hero,” we’d like to salute all of those individuals who have overcome fear to get up and go to work every day. Obviously, our doctors, nurses, and maintenance personnel at medical facilities need to be at the top of the list.

Grocery store clerks, pharmacy techs, mail carriers, trash collectors, utility workers, and restaurant owners trying to stay afloat by offering take-out, these folks deserve a hearty thumbs up from all of us. Masked or unmasked, they get up every day and perform essential services despite the perceived dangers and, in many cases, social shunning from friends and family. Yes, I’ve seen it happen.

How do we move forward?

What kind of country do we live in when a man or woman who goes to work every day is avoided because they “might be sick?” Fear makes people act in mysterious ways. Perhaps this was inevitable. The past decade has seen an extreme polarization of American ideologies like none other we’ve encountered in the history of our nation. The left and right don’t just disagree. They have a visceral and personal hatred towards each other that has broken friendships and families. Is that really who we are?

I can literally hear the cacophony of anti-Trump and anti-Obama chants in my head as I write this. Please stop. Our leaders are elected. We put them in place. Now we want to scream about how it’s all their fault? It’s time we took some responsibility. The hatred runs so deep that no one is even looking at the actual issues anymore. Go to the supermarket and watch the interactions between the masked and the unmasked. The tension is palpable. We used to live in a country where we respected each other enough to disagree without being disagreeable. This sentiment doesn’t seem to exist anymore.

The time is coming soon when we’ll need to venture outside again. The “normal” we once knew is gone forever. Make no mistake about that. Masks and gloves will become regular additions to many wardrobes. Packed sports stadiums and rock concerts could be years away, if we ever see them again. What doesn’t change is that we have to live and work together to survive. The actual fatality rate of Covid-19 is yet to be determined, but history is filled with the horror stories of economic collapse. We’re headed that way.

The first step in moving forward is for each of us to take responsibility for what we can do to help, instead of simply blaming everyone else for where we’re at. The president and governors can set guidelines, even restrict our movements, but they can’t stop us from practicing integrity. Golfers understand. We may take an extra “provisional” or two when playing with our buddies, but real competitions are sacred. We take responsibility for our mistakes. Sometimes, we even call a stroke on ourselves, the ultimate mea culpa. I’ll leave you with that thought and the video below:

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