A Line in the Sand?

I thought “a line in the sand” was moveable, not immutable. You know: more like a line in wind-blown shifting sands. Or a line that is eradicated by the tides. One that must be redrawn to accommodate changing circumstances, that kind of thing. I always thought of a line in the sand being something that you could play with. Something you could shift around based on new information that might have you changing your mind. Or one that has you changing positions based on fear. Regardless of the circumstances that dictate the change, all you’d have to do is swish your foot over the line in the sand & it’s gone. Only to be redrawn elsewhere. To suit whatever today’s longings & limitations might be.

Flip Flopping

Now when my mother “drew the line”, I knew it wasn’t a line in the sand. It was a much firmer line. Possibly even a red line. And one that that were I to cross it, would have me in serious trouble. This is a whole different kind of line.

As it happens, when I looked it up, it turns out that the line in the sand is supposed to be more the kind of line my mother used to draw. But it’s treated more like what I believed it to be. Politicians, for example, are always drawing lines in the sand. But next day, they don’t only move the line, they move the whole beach.

The bottom line is that most lines aren’t worth the sand they’re drawn upon. Even my own. I often find myself flip-flopping on lines that I draw in this proverbial sand. It sometimes happens so quickly that I wonder why I bother drawing lines at all.

But I really wish I could draw a line on some of the crap I put in my mouth so I could lose some weight!!! 😊

PS … Happy Canada Day!!!

Canadians are not that nice!

Lake Ontario BeachWith Canada Day coming up (it’s July 1st for those not in the know!), I’m thinking about what it means to be Canadian. Though I’m Irish, I am now also Canadian. I wasn’t here that long before I was “eh”-ing my way through conversations. I probably say sorry more often now too.

I’m Canadian for long enough that I’m probably biased but I kinda like the place. While many might struggle to understand why we love our oft-frozen wasteland, we do. And a little part of that love of country comes from our national pride in being nice. But is it true? Are we really that nice?

Like one or two Irishmen, I came with a pretty short fuse. Considering my limited fighting skills, that probably wasn’t a good thing on occasion. Nonetheless, when confronted with something contrary to my own way of thinking, I was inclined to react somewhat aggressively. This is far in the past now, of course, but I did enjoy the odd rant & rave. Occasionally getting into a good old fashioned row.

But now I don’t! How did that happen?

Look, we’re not delusional here, we know we have a lot of bad stuff going on in Canada too. Not all Canadians are all nice, all the time. But in general, the country is safe enough that we all feel free to walk most places, most of the time. Though maybe not after dark everywhere. Most people are approachable. And most will help when they can.

So what! Isn’t that true of most people? I think it probably is. But still, Canadians have a reputation for being nice.

I am actually conscious of the social burden of niceness that comes with being Canadian. It’s part of the bill of goods we sell ourselves as Canadians. There is an expectation of niceness. And sometimes, that makes some of us a little nicer than we might otherwise be.

That’s no bad thing either.

Happy Canada Day!


Both Sides of the Aisle

I spent last week in the US. It was work but I always enjoy these visits anyway. This time was no different. I’ve been working with many of these folk for years now & I consider many of them my friends. We don’t get to see each other on a weekly basis or anything but we’re still friends. I look forward to getting together with them.

We have a small Canadian contingent at these events. There’s a slightly larger cohort from Mexico. We also have some other nations, outside of North America, that are well represented, but most attendees are Americans. And most of the Americans at these gatherings are probably republicans. There are a few democrats among the crew too though. It doesn’t matter the nationality, nor the political affiliations, I look forward to seeing them all.

Fortunately, that seems to be a universal feeling within the group. Over dinner, we laugh & joke about the politics of the day. We can even discuss some current events more seriously. And all without things devolving into bitter argument & chaos. When we’re not slinging mud, & when we listen to each other, you might sometimes even see other sides of the argument. Of course ours is a problem solving industry. We’re used to getting together to find solutions. We always leave that parting dinner celebration looking forward to the next encounter. Sometimes, you have to cross the aisle & sit down together.

It would be nice if the politicians in all our countries did a little more of that. There’s nothing wrong with adding a little more face to face time, a little more kindness & civility, to everything we do.

Handshake Battle in Singapore – Young’un vs Donnie Boy

I think the little guy might have edged it! Young’un was strategically positioned on the right for most encounters. I think he put some thought & practice into his preparations for the summit. And he came, ready to play the game. Really smart. Maybe the smartest summit move ever. Of all time!Fist Bump-C

But how did he do it?

It’s tough enough to wield the bully boy handshake tactics from the seated position but you’re coming from behind when the opponent is seated to your right. And Young’un was seated at the right of the pairing for every seated encounter. This gives him the Dutch Reach advantage. What in the name of jumpin’ jacks is that, I hear you ask!

Now the Dutch Reach is primarily thought of as a way of opening your car door so as not to cream a passing cyclist with the door. And it’s a very good thing for that, we should all do it more often!

But it’s also a way for a little dictator to cream a big dictator in a handshake battle. By having to reach over from the right, the little guy’s hand was already pronated. Or in the superior position. On top!

If you’re not prepared for this sneaky move, the opponent will automatically find his or her hand supinating towards the inferior, or lower, position. They have to match the immovable superior position of the combatant reaching across the body, you see! And that’s pretty much how Donnie Boy found himself in all the seated handshakes during the event. Young’un did a real number on him during most encounters.

Donnie Boy must have felt that he was losing but he had no clue why. You could see him in the standing handshake almost jerking Young’un across the stage when their hands connected. You could tell that he was trying to recover from those earlier losses. I’d have to give that one to Donnie Boy but you wouldn’t believe it, I think Young’un still had his slightly over the top.

You’d have to think that a little bit more preparatory work would be required if a different result was hoped for at the next get together. It’ll be an exciting series to watch, no doubt!