I had to blur out this little girls face for the Internet, but behind the blur is a little girl whose face was staring at me while I was playing jumbo chess. Her face says, “Hey mister, I see you are winning. I called the winner, so enjoy this game because we play next. Oh yeah, I am going to kick your ass.”
Yes, cute, adorable and when she grows up, she will have a competitive streak in her.
I took the image yesterday at the Swiss brunch in a little village nearby. I truly enjoyed the various cheeses, breads and treats that the village made. I even sat through a politician giving a speech. Someone asked me what was with the phone timer I had on. I said, “I give anyone 5-7 minutes to say something; after that I turn the timer on and see how long they ramble. While I have no idea what this man actually said, I figure he spent the last 30 plus minutes talking about how this area needs to keep its infrastructure up to par or ahead of the other neighboring villages.”
"but you don't speak the language, how do you know what he said?"
"did he talk about what i mentioned?"
"yeah, actually he did."
I forget the speechwriter that wrote for a few of the presidents, but as a consultant for on air camera, he said he would go into his hotel room, turn off the volume and watch the talent. By that, he could tell how good they would be.
Yesterday’s speaker was really a decent guy, but even in Switzerland, you can tell politician that have been in the game for a really long time. Personally, I have never liked politics or the game that is it or has become. My media friends are die hard democrats, I was always more of a republican, after watching how elections and political lives were crafted and how the playing field is carved up in the cigar filled back rooms of power, and looking at the sheer economic cost to elections – when I hear the media or politicians talking – there is like a filter that switches on in my head anymore. Some people call it a bullshit filter, but I like the more polite term of “noise filter.” After all noise is simply unwanted sound.
If I can avoid it, I want to avoid the sound of politics in my life.
It is not evening yet, and the kids are all testing fireworks for this evening. In a twist of irony, in another part of the world the rockets whizzing over their head and the concussions are not of a bright firework, but rather, real missiles and shells packed with high explosives.
So what does this have to do with chess? Simple. It was a lot of fun playing jumbo chess with the people at the Swiss national day brunch. I haven’t played in many years. I would have to ask my mom and dad, but I think it was 7th grade in high school when they let us learn at the speed we wanted to. There was a small group of us that finished the entire curriculum in a few months and while it sounds odd, but when we waited for the teachers to create new class materials, we would sit around playing Pinochle and Chess all the time.
Funny, they labeled us all “really bright mind” and gave us all awards.
The next year, they stuck us all back in a normal classroom setting where the standardized teach, memorize and regurgitate what you learned on a test was the MO (modus operandi) for education.
They didn’t give any of us awards that year. The truth is that we were all bored to tears. It was like allowing a human to strap on wings and fly for a year, only to tell them, “sorry, that was just a test for some educators with lots of degrees for the state. This year they decided to go back to the old way. Please hand in your wings and just forget any memory you had about flying.”
In a sense it is a bit like life. Everyone has genius in them. Albert Einstein had the best quote about genius and what happens if you don’t put the right people or talent in the right spot for your business, organization, team or group.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Einstein
How often do we do that to others and ourselves each day?