From My Perspective
Mr. Green Genes

Let's Play Hearts

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 the game.
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 26.