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Monthly Archives: May 2014



Life is like a game of chess. You look at a situation in life and hopefully, after some wise and intelligent thought,  you make the right move. Sometimes however you will make the wrong move, allowing your opponent, the dark side, an opening, which can ultimately lead to you being on the wrong side of check mate. And sometimes we decide to quit playing- and we forfeit our game.

This brings the question: Are there people and forces (bad karma) in life hell bent on toppling your king? The simple answer is yes, some people are ruthless in their pursuit of gaining what you have or if they can’t have what you have they become insanely jealous in your comfort and happiness.  And if they see you as some sort of a threat to their happiness and to their end game they will seek to bring your game to a complete and substantial halt. This can be done through words and or actions and with the birth of social media the check mate or the taking away of a piece of your life can sting even more when it’s put out in public.
As we become hunched over the game board of life trying to digest what has just happened to us and how to respond- let’s take a break and let me take you to a moment of my life that resonates greatly to the subject matter of this blog.

It was an early spring day, the sun was shining and people were out and about enjoying the weather.  I was twelve and was standing at a bus stop with my Pop in our small home town of Nedrow, NY. As we waited for the bus to arrive I waved and shouted hello to a few of  the passing kids who I recognized as “friends” and school mates. After my second or third sincere happy hello, my Pop turned to me and sternly said, “Why do you do that?”  I remember feeling confused at Pop’s tone of voice and question. I replied, “What do you mean, Pop?”  He said, “Why do you say hello to people that care little about you and wouldn’t even give you the time of day if you asked? Those kids don’t even like you…”  I was bewildered and hurt by what Pop was implying. I never considered the possibility that I wasn’t liked by some of my “friends” but Pop was a wise and intelligent man so I struggled to do my best to digest this- as we eventually boarded the bus and I went on with my day.  There are times in our lives that impact us in many different ways and this simple memory has huge meaning to me and how I have lived my life since then. It’s a moment in time that I have often thought about.

So here I am 46 years removed from that conversation and if Pop were still alive I would answer his question. I would say to him: “Pop, you were very perceptive on that day way back then. And for the most part, you were right- even today there are people who I have been friendly with and or considered close to me in my life  who for whatever reason have decided that they don’t like me and have turned their backs to me. Some have hurt me badly or caused me much turmoil.   But, to answer your question: I still say hello and will continue to be “friendly” with people who dislike me. It’s who I am but my good intentions and friendliness shouldn’t be confused with my intent to confront bad disrespectful behaviors or cheaters.  I won’t go out of my way to say hello to someone who dislikes me or wants to put me in check mate but I will continue to play the game….”

So I’m hunched over the chess board of life pondering my next move- as the dark opponent watches me from across the board.  It’s not an easy game and there are no guarantees that I will win but I will finish it to the end and I will enjoy the challenge.  Pieces will fall but I will strive to never regret a move- even if it’s a wrong one. We learn from our mistakes and we learn to play a better game next time.  And lately in life I have won more games than I have lost. Check…


Please visit the author of this post: Tom Riddell: