Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Life Is Like Golf

My friend, attorney, and long-time golf partner, Jerry Gilmore, told me something long ago that has stuck with me to this day. Like most wisdom that we share with each other, it occurred during a round of golf. You have to realize that we long ago decided we have more fun if we don't keep score, so we don't. And if we don't like the result of our shot, we hit another. However, no more than three at any time, because otherwise we forget where they went. But I digress...

Anyway, I was using the sand bottle on our cart to fill in a divot I'd made when Jerry remarked, "I wonder how many people fill in their divots?" Then he added, "And does that change if no one is watching?" Ever since then, I've decided that life is sort of like golf. We all know there are things we ought to do, things that are part of the rules of civility and humanity. But do we observe them, even if no one is watching?

Ever roll through a stop sign when the cross-streets are clear for a quarter mile in both directions? If you're undercharged at a store, do you call the clerk's attention to it? (We won't talk about being overcharged). I'd love to hear from you. How do you play the game of life? Do you think it's important to replace your divots...even if no one is watching?

9 comments:

Erica Vetsch said...

I guess I try to fill in my divots even when no one is watching because I know that Someone is always watching.

That and I was raised in a Fightin' Fundie church that was big on guilt as a motivator. :D

Richard Mabry said...

Erica, Never thought about the guilt left over from my early rearing in a fundamentalist church--maybe that's why I will walk fifty feet to toss my chewing gum in a trash can instead of dropping it behind a shrub.

Deb said...

I fill in mine because I tend to trip over them next week if I don't. Besides, Someone IS watching, and I don't want Him disappointed. I splat hard when I trip in any case.

Richard Mabry said...

Deb, sounds as though you have a very consistent game if you land in your divots from the prior week. Seriously, thanks for your comment.

Carol J. Garvin said...

I haven't played golf in years, but whether it's divots, stop signs or extra coins, I'm generally one to follow the rules. I have to live with me, after all. Guilt is a nasty companion. :)

James Castellano said...

Also fixing the ball marks on the greens!

I use professional golfers as a prime example in my leadership writing, but from a different perspective.

They don't let the last shot, good or bad, determine their next shot.
Life works the same way, we can't let one bad experience set the stage for the next event.

Richard Mabry said...

Carol, thanks for the comment, and for your attitude.

James, didn't even think of repairing ball marks on the green (although in the hottest month in Texas, even a really good wedge shot doesn't leave a ball mark).

Deb said...

That's about the only thing consistent about my game, other than the "Woodies." You know, that sound a drive makes off the tee when the first thing it contacts is a tree. Phooey!

S. Kim Henson said...

Someone once asked me if I'd roll the shopping cart to the drop off spot if no one was watching. For some reason, that question had such an impact. I think all the times about "Do the right thing even when no one is watching." Doesn't mean I always do it, but I'm very aware of how I feel when I do and when I don't.