It All Comes Down To This,
is the companion piece to
Presence Of Self.
There was a scientist, a preacher, a
and an intellectual. No, they didn't
into a bar (this isn't a
it's actually a
- and it's a
at that). Rather, what each of them did was rivet my
and win my
and deep admiration. Each of them had everything. Each of them lived
the whole nine yards (so to
Well ... almost the whole nine yards. Actually they each
lived about eight yards, two feet, eleven and three-quarter inches. And
I was left
who they'd be being (if you will) and what influence they'd be having
(in addition to the
influence they currently had, being exactly the way they were being) if
they'd got it down to that final quarter inch.
So what do I mean by that "final quarter inch"? You could ask
Or you could read on.
The scientist was jaw-droppingly
He had the whole thing laid out: from single-celled
protozoa aeons ago, to the
landing on Mars, and beyond. It can all be understood and proved, he
asserted, if not now then soon, and he scoffed at anyone who denied
that. His arguments were astonishingly sharp. None of his premises
His research and preparation were impeccable. Not one person in his
audience could get around his logic. Many with religious persuasions
were left helpless by his approach. To those who tried to save him
(that's in the classic biblical sense) and wouldn't back down, he
unceremoniously if not
up the "F"-word epithet, then smiled warmly and empathetically at
their shock. He gave no quarter. His way was "my way or the highway",
of which he was 1,000% certain. In spite of all that (or
perhaps because of it), they
him and they hated him at the same time. But I'll bet good
they didn't know what made theirs a
with him. I assert it wasn't because of his scientific
That was merely the icing. So what was it then? I'll get to that in a
The preacher, on the other hand, had it all down to faith and
He was a humble, gentle man. His arguments were nonetheless
and well-thought through.
him was an adventure in itself. His was a delivery which
had been challenged on many occasions. He was used to having his piety
denied. The way some audience members called him out for his doctrine
(and for his dogma, if the
be told) bordered on insult, which only seemed to bring out the best in
him - as if he took pity on those denying him, and
them even more for it. Like the scientist,
swayed him. His exposition too, was
system in and of itself.
did it. Period. That was his rock. But he actually had something very,
very similar to the scientist - although you would never had thought so
if you were only
to what each of them were talking about (in which the one's argument
denied the other's).
wasn't simply the mom and pop corner grocery store type.
His base pay was forty mill (that's in US greenbacks) a
year - and that's before vested shares and stock options.
he oversaw, while 100% legal and in compliance with all national and
international laws, ran questionably afoul of what's good for
And yet he talked about it with a missionary zeal (that was his job),
alarming many of his
while thrilling his shareholders. No matter what criticism was leveled
at him, he responded in
terms, justifying what he did by only referring to his company's bottom
line, and his fiscal duty to do so. If anyone appealed to his
obligation to keep
green, trying to side-swipe him, he was unflappable. His armor had not
one chink in it. Like him or not, approve of what he did not, he was a
colossus at the dais - not merely in hisworld
While you may have serious concerns about what he and his
were doing, you admired - no, you revered -
he did it (and by that I mean you revered the way he
it). Just like the scientist and the preacher before him, he could not
be dismissed or dislodged. Not in the slightest.
The intellectual was stunning. Some people are good at what they do.
Others are very good at what they do. This guy was in a
class of his own. Actually "stunning" only under-expresses his skill -
by many degrees and by even many more orders of magnitude. His delivery
relaxed, and yet always easily exceeding one hundred miles an hour on
tachometer. He missed
To pose a
which showed disagreement with his
(whatever it was he was expounding at the
was simply asking to get steamrolled. People were both
of him and yet at the same admired him immensely. No, they were in
awe of him. And if it seemed to him he was taking too long
to get his point across because they
it, he wasn't beyond deflecting any
from anyone, with a smiling rebuke ending in "... you can kiss my
(rear end)!" even when in the company of the most erudite
groups. He didn't care. His
was everything to him. And the
of it was astonishing. He didn't waver. And, unwavering, his unlined
shone. His audience simply had no chance of out-arguing him - at any
level on any subject. Then they fell in
with him because of it. Just like the scientist, the preacher, and the
he embodied the same quality - which was apparent if you were on the
lookout for it (but just like with the others, you wouldn't find it in
what he talked about).
What the four of them all had in
was that which I assert was really the
And although it was germane to everything each of them said, did, and
expounded, and to the enormous impact each of them had, all four of
spokearound it. None of them addressed it
- in fact, I assert they each took it for granted. You see,
(nothingwhatsoever) with their scientific acumen, their being
deeply versed in the scriptures, their vast
savvy, or their gigantic intelligence (and their total fearlessness to
push its pedal to the metal). That was merely its manifest expression.
That's merely what it looked like when they opened their
(and blew people away in the process while winning their
and admiration at the same time).
Well? What was it that they each had in
then? I'll tell you. It all comes down to this:
We (ie people) do that a lot: we take our own
ie we take
who we really are
for granted, and we don't address it
If who the scientist really is isn't
there's no science. If who the preacher really is isn't
there's no religion. If who the businessman really is
If who the intellectual really is isn't
there are no
cerebral gladiatorial contests and battles.
That's what I meant at the
when I said each of them had everything, and each of them lived not the
whole nine yards (so to
but rather about eight yards, two feet, eleven and three-quarter
inches. When you're being
who you really are
(which may be a mere click away from who you're actually being at any
particular moment) ... and ... you addresswho you really are
ie you bring it forth intentionally, that's living the final quarter
inch of a nine yards life.
So. What do you give the men / women who have everything? You give them
that final quarter inch.
And that's not a
either. But it does make a great riddle.