Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Choose your tribe with care

Russ Nelson, owner of Family Shooter's Corral in Eaton Rapids is fond of telling young shooters a story to drive home the concept of "guilt by association".

Russ was growing a particularly excellent strain of sweet corn one year and he knew he was going to have issues with raccoons. One evening, just as the first flight of corn was about to ripen, he and his bride were sitting on the back deck enjoying their evening coffee.

Russ saw a line of raccoons, mama and cubs, making their way toward his corn patch.

As luck would have it (actually, luck had nothing to do with it) Russ had a scoped, .22 WMR long-gun available. He waited until they were in the open and he proceeded to do what he does very well, put lead on the target.

Collecting the deceased, he found eight bodies when there had only been seven raccoons heading toward his corn. During the moment of truth, a rabbit had been heading toward the garden at the same time as the raccoons.

At this point in the story, Russ would pause. Then he would say something to the effect that when push-comes-to-shove that you will be judged by the people you associate with. It might be right. It might be wrong. It can be final.

I pity the young

In some ways I pity the young.

We had time to play around with ideas and associations.

We could try-on various "tribes" for size and see how they "felt".

If/when shit gets real, the tribe they are plugged into is the tribe they will be judged with.

I pity the old

We are too likely to assume that people who share superficial characteristics with us also share our values.

Be on guard.

Too hard to hold

The two hardest things to hold weigh nothing: Our breath and grudges.

Some folks are "energized" by grudges and presumed wrongs. They are sadly mistaken. Those grudges are maintained at a high, but hidden price.

In general, I don't hold grudges. My memory is not that good and I am lazy. Other people might hold different opinions regarding my zeal for holding grudges.


  1. Excellent advice, Joe! It's nicely summed up by the old saying "Don't do stupid things, don't go stupid places, and don't hang out with stupid people".

  2. I watched bitterness (old grudges) eat my dad to death. He left at 72. His brothers and sisters pushed 100. His mom went to 104. It ain't worth the effort.

    1. I realize that many folks might consider me "religious". I am OK with that.

      My take is that people who nurse grudges are placing themselves above God.

      "God can forgive...buy I have higher standards than God I cannot forgive." And then they parade it as if it were a virtue. Such arrogance!

      I don't often struggle with forgiving (short memory, don't you know), but when I do I am not proud of it.

  3. Pity the old/tribe:
    Funny, lived here 3.5 years now. Befriended little old neighbor lady that lives half mile up the road. Especially when the KungFlu madness started, we always offered to get stuff from the store, etc... She really likes our fresh eggs, so we always bring her some. Election season came... bitch had a Biden sign out front! She only gets the old eggs now. LOL!

  4. The purpose of holding a grudge is to prevent unscrupulous people from victimizing you again. Because if you allow them to do so they will quite happily do so. A grudge is a memory formed from painful experience.

  5. I have a list of former vendors on the back of the office door written in magic marker at my antique store. I only remember that if the name is underlined they were ugly when they left. Can't remember why but I know I should not re-rent to them or they would not be on the door. Roger

  6. An old Scottish proverb . Forgive and forget every man his debt against you . But remember the son-of-a-bitches name .

  7. One of my biggest downfalls has been holding grudges long term. No benefits whatsoever and wasted time about times long ago and are not changed by thee memories. Begone dragons, sorry I held onto to them for so long.

  8. I work with a guy who has stored in memory every person who ever made him angry, can recall them in an instant, and gets angry at them all over again.

    To me a wise man once shared, "Resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person will die."

  9. I am of two minds. On the one hand, ERJ, you are correct. Having both a poor memory as well as better things to do is helpful to promote my tranquility.

    Remembering the evil wench who was the monstrous ex MIL, motivates me to spend time improving my aim.

    To everything, there is a season.

  10. Since ol' Russ is giving out with the advice, he ought to revisit that bit about making sure of your target.

  11. ERJ, the comment about the young is something I have considered as well. There is indeed no time for exploring and consideration - one must declare "now" where one stands. Now, one has to declare very early - and I do not wonder that someday, many will regret the decisions they made so early. Society states that making certain decisions like marriage very young are made before the persona is developed, but considers others to be able to made at an early age - and then cast in stone.


Readers who are willing to comment make this a better blog. Civil dialog is a valuable thing.