Wednesday, March 5, 2014

It's Not Personal...

I've dealt Texas hold 'em poker for 10 years. The procedure of taking a deck and spreading it, scrambling it, shuffling it, rifting it, shuffling it again, then cutting it is done without a second thought. There is, however, one aspect to the game which requires my attention more than anything else and that is the players. When tension mounts and frustrations flair, there's no telling what unwanted things might be thrown my way, from cards to obscenities to insults. At any given moment my job duties vary from traffic controller, baby sitter, to ringside boxing official.

My job has taught me about the game of poker and even more about myself. I've developed tolerance and patience in unmanageable moments, and learned how to deescalate situations using humor and distractions. Yet, the most valuable lesson I've learned is to not take things personally.

My Momma told me, "Don't judge until you walk a mile in someone else's shoes," and she's right.

There's no telling what the person next to you has gone through or is going through, and if I've learned anything from these past 10 years is that it's more important to give that person a break, in their less than wonderful moment, than anything else. It may not be the easiest thing to do or what everyone else around you thinks you should do, but believe me, it is the right thing to do. And remember, it's just not personal.