Stepping off the 11th green on Sunday, I turned to my golfing opponent and asked “So, what do you do for a living?” Traditional golfing etiquette would have prescribed that question much earlier in the round — but this was the annual Battle of the Sexes tournament. This was serious business, our club’s year-ending men against the women contest…an intense gender battle in a Minnesota nice sort of way. For purposes of this story, I waited until later in the round (and until I was significantly ahead in the match) before I asked my female opponent.
“So, what do you do for a living?” I asked. She paused, laughed and said: “I work for the devil!” Now that’s a new one! “Say more…” “Have you read the papers lately? I own a company that provides research data to large investment management firms. Her firm looks into the trends of society — both domestic and abroad — and makes recommendations for where to invest hard-earned money. She said: “It was fun in the beginning…but that feeling went away about 10 years ago. Its a constant barrage of bad news…Now it just feels like I’m working for the Devil!”
She has a point — I have never seen less trust in our public institutions. Every day, every where we turn, there is more and more bad news… Maybe its because the media is so prolific and persistent about penetrating our fragile psyche. Maybe it really is bad. I am totally convinced scholars will look back on this chapter in history and find us growing numb to the greed, expecting bad news…waking up every morning skeptical. Hmm…the devil at work?
The question is…what are we going to do? We know we have to do something, at some level. Maybe the one thing you can do for yourself is make good choices about who you include in your circle of friends. We can choose to stay positive, and multiply hope through the people we associate. On Sunday, I was totally impressed and uplifted by my new friend who “works for the devil.” While marching to the conclusion of our match, we talked about music, and family history and what we share in common for fun. She makes time for things like golf and singing to keep her perspective, and to stay sane. That’s really important, because she does the best she can to set a positive, trusting example for her colleagues and employees in devil-land. That’s doing something, and its a good place to start.