Saturday, November 18, 2006

Car Trouble

Well, I didn't go to Johannesburg to do the 94.7. If I had my own car I definitely would have. My brother wanted to come back one or two days later, and since we were going to split the rental costs halfway, it made sense that I get equal use of the car. When it was clear that wasn't going to be the case, I thought I'd cut my losses. I couldn't come up with the motivation to get in the car and have to endure 800km or more of petty bickering.

Unfortunately, the strategy didn't work all that well because, back in Bloem, I thought I'd make up for the disappointment of missing the 94.7 by going on a small spending spree. I should have known when after 5 minutes in Musica my girlfriend (who drove me there)said she wanted to sit down to rest her feet. Buying her lunch also didn't seem to soften her resolve to make sure she wasn't enjoying herself. And the dinner at Spur on Thursday was all but forgotten. It wasn't as though I was selfishly buying for myself. I visited just two shops and asked her at both if I could get her anything. I even offered to buy her lingerie.

So I'm feeling a bit low because it seems like the people close to me have a habit of insisting on what they want, how and when they want it, wanting it exactly the way they want it. I think I need to find a way to surround myself with people who aren't cloying perfectionists.

First up though I really need to get my own car because, as my father always says: "The only person you can depend on is your self." Unfortunately, that's true, no matter how much people profess to love each other.

The imbedded message in World Interrupted was to say, you know what, we're all connected to each other. So how happy can we really be when we're supposedly comfortable, and someone close to us needs our help, and we don't give it? It doesn't say much for long term harmony. In a world where we're all connected, helping you indirectly helps me.

The reason why I love my sport so much is because it espouses the philosophy so well, of The only person you can depend on is your self. Nevertheless, in cycling, the opposite is true. The more you can depend on the other riders, the more energy you can save, and the stronger you can be, for longer. Covey calls this WIN/WIN. It's amazing being able to depend on yourself (some people can't even do that), and then also be dependable. When that's true, everyone can be very happy, and everyone who races wins.

Unfortunately knowing the path isn't enough. Communicating the path isn't enough either, especially when the person you're communicating with is governed by a paradigm of money (which is 'I win/you lose' or the perfectionist's diehard mantra: 'I am right'. The only way to walk the path, it seems to me, is when you've been enlightened by enough experience, that proves win/win living really works. And when you're with someone who knows this, there's no argument, no communication even: you simply get on with the job of working together, like cyclists in an echelon - a machine of smooth efficiency that is 1000 better than one cyclist struggling alone against the wind, flying a flag of righteousness at a few roadside beetles.

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