As a kid at home our family, dad, mom, my older brother
and I would often spend an evening eating popcorn and playing a card
game called Hearts. The game revolved around sticking one of the other
players with a trick that contained a heart or best of all, the “Old
Lady”, the queen of spades. My mom thoroughly relished in causing
one of the other three of us in the game to get the “Old Lady”.
If you remember learning to play card games as a child, you likely
remember showing the person teaching you the game your hand of cards
so that they could instruct you in the best way to play the card you
were dealt. They usually showed you their cards as well so you could
start to learn the strategy of the game. Even though in the actual
game you were supposed to keep your cards secrete from each other.
You see in an actual game it is easy to know what your cards are as
you are looking at their face values. Your opponents however are looking
at the backs of your cards and thus do not have your point of view.
The key to being a good card player is knowing or at least being pretty
sure what cards your opponents possess. The game looks different from
the vantage point of each player. If you know what every player in
the game is looking at in their hand, it becomes much easier to win
Why it is that Rush Limbaugh does not see our country the same way that
President Obama does? Why is it that the radical extremist who killed
so many people in Paris last week do what we believe to be terrible acts
and yet they celebrate their accomplishments? Why is it that many Michigan
State football fans thought their loss to Nebraska a couple of weeks
ago was due to a terrible officiating mistake and the Nebraska fans do
not? Why? It’s because life is like an infinite deck of cards and
the facts we know are the individual cards we have in our hand. The more
we know, the more cards we have the better we understand the game of
life. The reality is that each of us is looking at a different hand of
cards. Even if we were to start out in life with the same hand of cards
to look at as we progress through life we get to pass three cards to
the left and get three new ones from our right just as in the game of
Hearts, I played as a child. Now our hands are different. In life there
is no right or wrong way to play out our hand. It depends on what your
playing partners have in their hands and how they play their cards. The
very good player is able to imagine what their opponent must have in
their hand and thus see the game from their point of view as well as
from his own and then play his own cards to his best advantage.
Why is it that the most brilliant minds of their time, those of Plato,
Aristotle and Socrates believed the world to be flat? The answer, they
were looking at the cards they were dealt and coming to a conclusion
based on the facts they had. They didn’t yet have all the cards
needed to make a correct decision. Why did most of Germany fall under
the crushing boot of Hitler during World War II? They didn’t yet
have all the cards they needed to make a good decision until it was too
late. Why is it that the fans of the blue team at a basketball game want
a blocking foul called and the fans of the white team want a charge called?
The answer is likely different points of view and what is best for your
team and not taking into consideration what is best for the game itself.
Is drinking coffee good for you or bad for you? I don’t think we
really know the answer to that question just yet as we don’t have
enough cards yet. Is the Key Stone pipe line good for America or not?
Is eliminating coal as a source of electrical energy good for America
or not? Is Obama’s foreign policies good for America or not? What
person will be the best to choose in the next presidential election to
lead the American people from 2016 to 2020? The answer is…. It
depends. Get as many cards as you can so you have as many facts as possible.
Now try to imagine what cards the other players are looking at and try
very hard to see the card game of life form as many points of view as
you can so that you can make the best decision possible with the hand
you were dealt. Sure it’s likely you will lose a trick that you
could have won had you played the right card at the right time. But at
least you would not have failed to “Shoot the Moon” because
you should have thrown away the ten of clubs and kept the nine of diamonds,
which would have won you the last trick that contained the last measly
heart you needed. So you got 25 points instead of everyone else getting