Lessons for us all in the golf and life realms from the Christmas Truce of 1914 during World War I. Take a few brief moments out of your end of 2018 life and listen to the story by clicking above. We all love stories, don't we now boys & girls - especially when they are full of meaning, inspiration, and hope?
CS elaboration upon return...
Sharing & Togetherness
'Tis the season - why not make it the season all the time? In golf instruction, in politics, everywhere.
So many angry, chip-on-the-shoulder, and greedy supposed golf gurus out there demanding their way is the only way. The best way. The superior way. The right way.
Having to be right to fuel their egos. Fill their pocket books. Feature their faces on blue-lit screens all over the globe. And this desperate need for 'rightness' fuels human destruction on the lesson tee and golf course, and in vastly more relevant and important realms.
Pity... last I checked the game of golf is brutally difficult for all of us, even the best in the world oftentimes. We dig our own trenches time and time again, not dissimilar from those our wartime soldiers inhabited.
You, as a student, may indeed find yourself in the same situation as the warriors above. Perhaps you'd love to explore some other options, some alternatives, some dialogue. A solution for you golfy challenges. But if your 'teacher/authority' is stuck in his or her way/method/need-to-be right, let their chest-puffing begin. It'll soon be their way, or the highway.
The men described in the Christmas Truce of 1914 had no ill will towards their adversaries:
"Everything lay with their authorities, and that being soldiers they had to obey."
Hazards of Needing to be Right
You thought the ponds and bunkers on the golf course were hazardous to your game? They pale in comparison to the childish human need to be right.
Where to begin, all my "tipsters, maestros, radarologists, rotarians and revolutionaries," of the golf facilitation world? Try on this fivesome, for size (courtesy of J. Moran), followed by a 'CS Whoopsie Take:'
1. Needing to be right comes with a heavy price.
"People who have to be right find themselves alone and isolated from groups of friends, colleagues or families. They hold on to their righteous ideology and opinions so tightly that no one can have a reasonable dialogue with them. A heavy shield descends over their exterior, which in turn reflects their inner need to never let go of the person they project to others. The need to be right becomes a crusade."
CS Whoopsie Take: Did someone say "crusade?" Like 'rotate - your pelvis & flatten the shaft' in the transition and downswing? Pretenders...
2. Needing to be right does not respect the individuality of others.
"Every person is born with unique DNA. Every brain is wired differently. What you think comes from nurture and nature, just as what I think comes from different constructs. This suggests a need for mutual respect. But if someone can’t let go of having to be right, their mindsets become rigid and fixed in patterns that prevent openness to others."
CS Whoopsie Take: Lack of respect, amen. Too much of it in our modern-day culture, no need for it on the still-sacred golf park lands. Didn't some American bloke win a few tournaments and millions of $ playing single-length clubs, a zero torque shaft in his putter, and pretty much do everything else 'wrong (and unlike any other top player in the world)'? Yep, he did.
3. Needing to be right kills curiosity.
CS Whoopsie Take: Ah, the lost art of listening. We must listen because we are so often wrong in our certainties. When we pass a motion in the chaotic debating chamber of our heads, it’s never completely right, or even, most of the time, half right. The only way to edge closer to the truth is to listen with complete openness, bringing to the process no preconceptions, nothing prepared.
"People who have to be right do not practice active listening. They don’t hear what’s going on in the environment. If they don’t listen, they never learn anything new. Curiosity dies slowly, and in the end nothing but validation will ever interest a person who has to be right. For a mind to develop, it needs to entertain alternative thoughts, ideas and desires. How do you learn if not through others?"
Whose swing method, or 'play the game of golf' (or life, for that matter) story you been listening to anyway? Stuck on, and in? Curiosity may have killed the cat - but kitties have 9 lives and you only have 1. Time to develop, consider alternatives, and broaden your horizons as 2019 looms.
Click on Rors above for some insight from a master storyteller who might help you edge closer to the truth of this game that so many are making us believe is so terribly complex...
4. Needing to be right leads to self-destructive behavior.
"It’s human nature to perceive people who have to be right as know-it-alls. This implacable attitude conjures up self-righteousness, pictures of loners, and people who are alienated from interaction in society. The general perception is they are not a team players or don’t work well with others. They are hard to get along with. They turn away connectedness and love."
CS Whoopsie Take: I'll let the image above do the talkin' - for the evolving fellow with the divot on his balding head, and the "much-room-for-evolving" guy in the foreground. Hey - at least they are both rocking the proper attire. Click and see.
5. It takes so much energy for people to have to be right.
"Sometimes it even takes weapons to keep their ideas alive and spreading. Those who take ideas to extremes with a single-minded purpose and never notice different shades of gray are the true losers in their fight to keep their beliefs alive. If people just didn’t have to be right, they might notice things differently and start to accept change as not only inevitable, but good. They might actually recognize they are feeling happier because they are more connected."
CS Whoopsie Take: Shades of gray. Commonalities. Connectedness.
Indeed. Question, dear readers - for the proof is in the proverbial (plum, or other) pudding: technique-wise, what do all the great players of today and yesteryear (before & since World War I) have in common?
Specifically, solving the riddles of this marvelous game, in a manner that suits each individual. Are we not all golfers who share the same passion, teachers and players alike? So why all the bickering about who's right, and who's wrong? About whose technology is better, more accurate, more advanced? Ideas, concepts and theories taken to extremes and used as weapons (often in the form of verbal outbursts and attacks), condemning those with differing views.
Time it is for us all take a lesson from the brave and open-minded men of the Christmas Truce of 1914...
Coaching & Guidance
Here to help you discover the pieces to your golfing puzzle.
On my home turf at Eugene Country Club, or in a golf park near you.
“He who establishes his argument by noise and command, shows that his reason is weak.”
-- Michel de Montaigne
~ CS ~