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Give a Man a Fish, He'll Eat for a Day...Give a Thief your Wallet, He'll Run Forever

Updated: Jan 1

I had thought that I was done discussing basketball stories from the past, but I stand corrected.  This could be a recurring theme.


Brace yourself.


As I pondered more deeply about the last post (see There is Always Chapstik in my Sock), I came across another story that shared similar sentiments of basketball, lack of responsibility, and making a decision to change.  Without further a due, sit back, relax, and indulge.


Now the time period was roughly middle school again.  If you haven't noticed by now, that was a time where I was making several mistakes.  I was averaging at least 7 mistakes a day.  I am not proud of this.  Mistakes varied from poor fashion choices to talking too much when I shouldn't have.


My wardrobe has seen major improvements.


We are still working on the word vomit.


Anyways, I was young and learning, which is necessary in the progression of all.


With that being said, on this episode of "Young Richie Making a Mistake", my brother had taken me to go play some basketball among his peers.  As if beating me wasn't enough, now he was going to have an audience, and I, quite possibly would have some other opponents to beat me as well.  I wasn't my best player just yet.  But as usual, I went, because I knew there was a lesson somewhere in the losses I was about to endure. He always made sure to give me lessons.


While in the car, as we listened to some music, and I silently contemplated which sickness or injury I was going to have when I started to get dominated on the courts...my brother mentioned, "you might want to keep your wallet in the car, so no one takes it.  We are going to be here for awhile, and you won't be able to watch it".


On any other day, I would have listened.


Okay, I lied, I wouldn't have listened because I was hard-headed.


To me, for some odd reason, I thought this was a challenge.  A challenge to see if I could control things out of my control.  Some would call it an overly competitive nature, but in this situation, I was just being stupid.


I just looked at him and said "okay", knowing that I was going to bring my wallet with me anyways.  So I threw it in my bag, zipped it up, and we left the car to go play.


Fast forward through the story, and as expected, I was getting pummeled on the court. It wasn't pretty and I wasn't good...once again, this was necessary.  My time on the courts would come.  I went out to drink some water, and went to my bag to collect my belongings.  As I rummaged through, I picked up my now, much lighter wallet and realized that my day was about to get 20 dollars worse.  I slowly opened it up, and exactly as I suspected, and was told, my money was gone.


Now the conversation.  Do I go to my arch nemesis at the time (my brother) and tell him what happened?  Can I handle him being right, immediately after he told me this would happen and completely destroyed me on the courts?  Was I ready for the reaction?


I had to swallow my pride, because this was bigger than any of that.  It really wasn't that big of a deal, but pride does get in the way sometimes.  It is good to practice managing it.


We got in the car, turned on some tunes, and I broke the news.


From what I can recall, he didn't even take his eyes off the road.  He simply said "well, that's what happens". That's it.


I stared at him for a little while, waiting for the "I told you so" or the joke, but it never came.  And that is when it hit me.  He was not going to try and control the things he could not control.  In this scenario, it was his loud mouth, hard-headed baby brother.  He already gave me the warning, I had already lost the money, and there was no need to continue to have a conversation about it.


Then more revelations came.


My wallet.  I thought that I could control what someone else would do with my belongings in my absence.  I recall thinking "no one's going to take my money", as if that thought was strong enough to to divert someone from doing what they were going to do anyways.  The same would have happened to anyone, had they left their money unattended.  I was no different.  I recognized that I had to take responsibility for my part in the matter.


Should one steal? No, but in trying to micromanage the world, I made it very easy for whoever it was to take my money while I was in the same room as them.  I had learned my lesson.


Now I sleep with my wallet.  So whoever you are, I'd love to see you try to take my 20 dollars this time...


I am just kidding.  I do not really sleep with my wallet, but am far more protective of it. I am also kidding about taking the 20 dollars from me again. I don't want any trouble.  You got it, and I forgive you.  I hope you used it wisely. Cheers to you.


Moral of the story...take ownership of what you do.  Don't put yourself into precarious situations just to try and prove a point.  It doesn't work, and young Richie has several stories to back it up.


Don't be young Richie, be confident in yourself.


Well alright, we have arrived to the end of yet another post.  It has been a good talk my friends, peace and protected wallets to you all.


Until next time,


Long Live The People

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