The Saddest FB Post

This is a real post somebody really left on an FB parenting page. For real. Pay attention to the last sentence:

I’m looking for some phrasing to use to say to any parents during play dates that we don’t have my son play fort nite. I want it to come across in a non-judgemental way, quick and move on and not have it damage any new friendship or impact any current friendship. We actually don’t play any video games.
Thanks for your help. My son is 5 1/2.

It makes my blood run cold in terror that this should be an issue at five.

The post is followed by an enormous number of comments where parents say they have the same problem.


How often do we find ourselves in this position? You’ve worked incredibly hard on something, only to discover that it leaves you feeling empty. You compensate by working even harder. Why does this happen?

It doesn’t happen to me. I don’t always work all that hard but I do know exactly what I want. I don’t put that much effort into things I want (I’m heavily into resting and unwinding) but if I do make an effort, it’s definitely going to be something that I know I need and will enjoy.

People lack in self-awareness to an extreme degree.

Over Nothing

When Obama broke all the campaign promises and more and more troops were sent to the Middle East, when nobody was punished for the ridiculous financial shenanigans that got us the Recession, when Obama kept sending drones to kill people, including US citizens – when all of this took place, the wailing from the media was absolutely nothing like we are seeing right now over a construction project that, at worst, won’t change much and will leave things as they are. Or what we have been seeing over every silly tweet or every smirking boy.

This isn’t about Obama specifically. Our former Governor Rauner did horrible things that actually hurt people and were definitely a lot worse than the smirking boy. But the story wasn’t even remotely covered by the media. Journalists will cover absolutely any ridiculousness, any inanity, any non-issue and wail and rend their clothes over nothing whatsoever to express, for the billionth time, that a president who, objectively, hasn’t done one hundredth of really bad shit Obama and Bush did, is evil incarnate.

Have you considered why they are so hot and bothered over the wall or the smirk or the tweets and cared nothing about punishing those who caused Recession or any of these other much more important things? These are people who are consciously trying to rile us up and get us to hate each other over nothing. Nothing.

Have you wondered who benefits from all this?

You Are the Author

I believe that the most important measure of success and maturity at my age is whether you’ve managed to shift the locus of control over your life inwards. This is almost impossible at 20 or 25. But at my age, it’s pretty crucial.

A small test of whether the locus of control is internal or external is to think back to the time recently when you had a really shitty day and ask why it was shitty. If the answer begins with, “it’s because I …” the locus is internal. The next question is, what happened to make things better? If the answer starts with “I did / said / decided, etc,” again, the locus of control is internal and you are on the right path.

Obviously, we don’t choose the bad shit that happens to us. And it happens to absolutely everybody pretty regularly. Every human being carries a list of real personal tragedies in his or her memory. But we are the story we weave out of these tragedies. I am the story I tell myself about the events in my life. Maturity arrives on the day when you realize that the author of story – if not of the events – is you.