Happy New Year! Like many of you, I'm of the belief that this year will be a very good year, and I believe it with good reason, for the glass looks like there's plenty of water in it, even though it tastes a little like tap water. How's that for an honest assessment? Even though the year does look a little unfiltered right now, I feel like there is sufficient motivation to fill up the glass, and find a filtering system. I hope your glass has some water in it as well!
Now, on with the journey. Saturday night I found myself in Border's Bookstore trying to reinvigorate my love of reading. (in recent years, my reading has slowed) As I was going from section to section, I found the book by Robert Greene, 'The Forty Eight Laws of Power'. I took the book upstairs to the coffee shop, ordered a cup and started reading through the rules. At last, in a city in America, with it's history, with it's freedom, with it's grandeur, I came to the very definite conclusion as to why I am in the condition I am. Robert Greene's rules! As the rules read on and on, I found myself filled with some general horror and anger, for I realized that I just flat out disagreed with the majority of these rules. There are several of them that are common sense, but I found myself thinking, "these rules are all about deception, manipulation, condescension, arrogance, intellectual violence, and emotional blackmail…" I was appalled. I was confused. I was… not surprised. I also found myself thinking that this is a very clear way of understanding the polarization of America, and why there is such a gap in thinking between the rich and the poor, and the loss of the middle class, who seemed to have had at least a foot in each world. I'm not going to form a grand thesis about this theory, it would make a great paper, though, but I so want to point out that there are human beings in the world who do not think in terms of living a life to ascertain power. It also is helping me inform myself of the confusion I have often felt at reaction I have often received, and my own personal polarization. I can reduce Robert Greene's rules of power to one. It's called the sandwich rule. It may sound silly, but there is such a truth within it. If you make and share a sandwich with someone, when you cut it in half, do you take the larger half or the smaller half for yourself? I know, one rule against forty-eight. I suppose there are many ways to understand it. I distinctly remember the first time I was confronted with the sandwich rule. I must have been about fourteen or so. I made a conscious decision to always take the smaller half of the sandwich, and it would always be my secret. Further, I decided that it didn't matter who I was sharing the sandwich with, or how I was feeling about the person, it would be a rule that I would live by. And so goes the story of my life. Theatre, career, teaching, money, etc., all of it in my life was subconsciously defined by the sandwich rule. So now, sitting here thinking about these rules it occurs to me, would my life have been different if I had always taken the larger half of the sandwich? You bet it would have. I believe there are some very distinct convictions that we form early for many reasons, and I'm not trying to say that this is the loftier way, I'm only trying to say that I may not be able to reverse my adherence to the sandwich. All of Robert Green's rules are variations on taking the larger half of the sandwich for yourself, even from those who have been your mentors, friends, family, or enemies. (By the way, using the sandwich rule, if you can get that larger half to your enemy, its doubly fulfilling!)
Okay, I was going to begin a break down of his rules, but I would be hiking all over slippery slopes, and would have to write much more than I have time for today, so I suppose I'll just have to keep thinking about it. I did go online and paste them to my computer, so that I can mull. It might be interesting, readers, for you to do the same. I would love to hear your comments on the subject.
I've also been told by several people that perhaps its not such a good idea to write and post such personal thoughts and feelings on my blog, that perhaps individuals who may consider hiring me would hesitate because of such a personal view point. That I may be unreliable, unstable, and too much of a risk. There is an element of truth to what they are advising me, however, I have to believe that there is a possible virtue in sharing some of these deep truths about myself. My belief is that in doing so someone may read something that they can truly identify with, that perhaps they could not articulate as I find I can, and that in some way it helps. I believe that. As for my stability, first of all, when it comes to my work I believe I fall into the top percentage of people that can be relied upon. If you are one of those individuals who may doubt my possibility because of my words on my feelings, be advised that I have that pioneer full sandwich work ethic, and I will always give you more than you have asked of me. I think its true that there have certainly been periods in my life when I could have given you more, but I assure you, that I can give to you now in unexpected ways. Hire me, you won't regret it.
Like many of you, with the things in my mind and heart I hope I can change in the coming year, I'm facing some smaller decisions that add up to some bigger ones. Can you relate? This morning I received a text message from someone who heard I was looking for a job. I answered the message to this person's voicemail, still not knowing who this person is or what the job entails. Once again, I feel the pressure to get a day job again to help fill the coffers, and of this I am in agreement. But I also have to consider whether there is wisdom in working with a certain kind of energy, that in the end will take away from the 'master' plan that still moves me forward. For now, however, I'm willing to take just about any job, just to stave off all of Bob Greene's rules, staring me in the face.
Several people have written to me and ask for my physical address, so this is where you can send that late Christmas card, or, come on over, I'll make us a sandwich.
5425 E. Verde Lane
Phoenix, AZ 85018