It’s time to leave
I was pretty much raised by my uncle, my father’s older brother by twelve years. He was closer in age to a
grand father to me then a father. He was a big man over six foot and 250lbs. He was born way back in ’21
on a farm in Tennessee and had done, what seemed to me, everything that could be done in life and work
before I was even born. He was a kid during the great depression and a radio operator on a B-17 during
WW II. He was not only part of the greatest generation to me he was the embodiment of the greatest
generation. He was strong, and manly. He could hold his liquor with the best of them but rarely drank by
the time I knew him. He drove a truck for Mayflower across the country before they were diesels. He
raised hell and beat more then one man down in a fight in his youth but I rarely saw him raise his voice. He
read the Bible daily and even though it was tuff to get up and down in his older years, he often would pray
on his knees. He was and is to me still today, the example of manhood. A vision personified in John
Wayne, Gary Cooper, Humpry Bogart, Clark Gable, and Jimmy Stewart. It was from him that I have derived
my sense of right and wrong and a cold faced understanding of life.
In short he was the type of man who… did what he said he was going to do. Who had no pretense or
illusions as to his own failings. He took action knowing the risks. He enjoyed his success with humility and
took his hits without complaint. He always had hope and pride until the end of his days.
A book could be written just on the wisdoms he delivered off handedly on a daily basis as if they were
M&Ms in a candy bowl on the coffee table. For this book however, one seems more fitting then the
others. I remember sitting at a wooden picnic table outside with him in the back yard listening to his little
blue am transistor radio. That radio and the line of identical predecessors that had been picked up at
Kmart or radio shack for a couple of bucks. Broadcasted a continual stream of news, an occasional
sermon and of course every Dodger game during the season even if we were watching them on the TV or
sitting in the cheap seats at the ball park. On this particular occasion he had been talking back to the
radio as if the announcers could hear him and he was part of the conversation. It is a tendency that can
be seen today with some people at movies and many more while watching TV but for his generation I
believe that the people on the radio were more real and interactive to them. I don’t even recall the subject
of the conversation but I remember his response.
He said, “That’s how you know when it’s over… when it’s time to leave. I asked, “When?”
He said, “When the bullshit outweighs the benefits.” I was a bit struck with his words but they were as
clean and clear as any words ever spoken in their honestly and truth.
I could of course with my college education and years of professional experience, explain in some
complicated details the undeniable facts of cost benefit analysis, of break even and tipping pints, but in all
the intellectual jargon I would do nothing to improve on the plain common sense truth of a man who had
taken classes at Columbia, but never graduated past the seventh grade in school, a man whose best
teacher was life.
There’s crap in every situation, every job, every relationship, and every experience in life. It’s really
simple. You have to decide. Is what you’re getting out of it worth what you have to deal with to get it? Is it
worth it? If it is then shut your mouth and stop complaining. If it’s not, then just leave.
The Lesson to Learn:
You always have options they may not be the best or even good options but in every situation there are
options. The more you pay attention and the closer you look the more likely you are to see the various
options in any give situation. It is up to you to decide which one to take.
Here was the Brutal Truth:
Life is a choice and that choice is full of chooses so get used to making them.