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I am a deeply (deeply) flawed human bean.

shy, really. and, often socially awkward. It’s not that I could, or should be compared to Howard Hughes, mind you. it’s just that I am always (always) focused. and, driven, of course, with a keen desire to win and prevail – and, with a higher standard.

it sets me apart. and, this can unnerve (most) people.

when I was eleven years old my younger brother, Greg, leveraged a lot of poor judgment and decided to toss some insults at a neighborhood bully named Tony.

I was eleven, Greg was six, and Tony was thirteen.

Tony came from a large (as in both physical stature and head-count) family, that lived up the street, and around the corner from us. for a couple of years I thought his name was actually “Hay Tooney” – you know, like a professional ball player. every time anyone (and, everyone) ever addressed, called for, or was looking at him, they would always (and, loudly) say, “Haay Tooney”!

in any event, he went after Greg. dude did not even hesitate; he was on my little brother like sewage out of the pipe. Greg had his little legs churning up our drive way for all he was worth with a head-start only just good enough that allowed for him to start calling for me. to this day I can’t remember much as I hurled myself out of the TV room, through the garage, and then with ten running steps later, full body into Tony. he already had a piece of fence in his beefy hands that he clearly meant to flail Greg with. instead, he beat me relentlessly with that piece of wood but I kept swinging and pushing. suddenly his resolve melted, possibly with my fury, and then he was on his back with me turning his nose into lasagne.

so… my Mom, the proper Sacramento debutante she was her whole life made me march over to his house the next day and apologize for giving him a beating.

“we are Cork’s. we take the higher road. you’ll understand better as you get older”, is all would say about it.

Tony and his Dad, with a small army behind them, met me at the front door. I extended my hand and simply said, “I apologize”.

…but, I didn’t mean it. not at all. I, in truth, felt like a flat-out liar. I wanted to cry. even howl, maybe.

“okay”, and sullenly, is all he said. his Dad said nothing. he just stared at me with a distant and mildly confused look splayed across his big bland olive-skinned face with a light stubble.

…the high road?

recently, I’ve lost something. and, man, it is, or was, dear to me. but, it’s really gone. and, I feel like it was stolen. now I have people that think I need to take that damn high road again and say things like, “best of luck to you. I offer my fullest support. I know you’ll do great”.

but, my heart isn’t in it. I did my best, and it was really good. the results were evident. now, some how and inexplicably, I’m taking a beating. and, it REALLY hurts. but, I have to go to the people that hurt me and take the high road because it’s, collectively, (maybe) good (maybe) for some of the people I care deeply (deeply) about.

I took a hard run Saturday and I admitted to God (but, He already knew, of course) that I did not want to take the high road. I wanted to be hurt and angry. I wanted to win. prevail. …protect people from the evil that I know is looming.

“come on, God”, said I . you and I both know there won’t be sincerity. and, what about hypocrisy?

I really do want to honor God with my response to this challenge, and the people that I’ve influenced. there’s a broken part of me that’s looking for someone(s) to be mad at. I’d love to exchange that for the patience and grace that He has, and hopefully will continue to show me. but, that’s so hard, right now.

that’s me being authentic.

this is another Kobayashi Maru, isn’t it.

however, as I was cooling down (literally, and miraculously in my heart) I knew that if I just said the words, something like, “it’s okay. I know you all will be great. I support you all”, that would, eventually (eventually) become the reality. it’s what they all expect of me, after all. let’s be very (very) clear. the words would not be sincere. they would ring hollow, in my own ears, in fact.

but, I’ll have said them. and, they might then have a life of their own, and there could be an effect.

my pain is meaningless, really. the people involved mean more to me than, well, me.

so… I wish them all the best (maybe because I want them to be happy and the best they can all be). I’ll have to move on.

…please. please (please), allow them to make me proud. and, remember, there has to be a difference between being pleased and being satisfied.

not because I say so, but because I really mean it.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

I don’t pretend to be a Christian.

many people do, though.

but, prayer is for everyone regardless of how or what people define faith – theirs, or otherwise. it focuses the mind and aligns it with heart and spirit.

I tend to pray most when I want something, or think I need something. I used the word “something” twice in one sentence because the concept of the what ever it is renders itself huge.

just like God.

lately I’ve been praying (or, mumbling) quite a bit because of what’s been happening to my Shockers. I’m going to lose a bunch of them and a dream long worked hard for. it feels like treachery and satan and all that stuff. I face a genuine Kobayashi Maru. however, I know darn well that change can be a good thing. it really comes down to what you make of it. character seems to be part of the definition.

so… I’m pondering the whole prayer thing. my question is now this: do I, or that collective we, pray for the things we think we want or need? Or, does He have us pray to align our minds, heart, spirit and actions with what He wants or needs from us?

my eyes are welling up as I tap these words gently into a keyboard. I’m so incredibly blessed, lucky and fortunate . my family is happy and healthy (other than some challenges with school and grades). business is great. and, I feel pretty good as my training continues. so, that list of positive adjectives could run on for some time. but, suffice it to say that the ball has bounced in my favor many times – and, possibly because I always try to do the right thing.

this post is already being populated by words that I had not planned in advance. so, maybe God is carefully at work, because, as I create this message, I’m thinking my prayer(s) need to be that God have me do the right thing(s), soften my heart, and simply steer me where I am actually needed and wanted. I’ll raise my hand.

I just need a path and an opportunity to be a beacon to light that of others.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

two words:

love and hate.

or, love and hatred.

they represent genuine extremes, I think.

as an aside… we’ve witnessed; and unfortunately, some of you have lived – “love hate” relationships.

but, some people love to hate. we assign that to terrorists, for example. other folks might submit they hate to love.

“there’s nothing in this world so sweet as love. and next to love the sweetest thing is hate.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I’m intently considering my keyboard, and thinking love is an elixir, whereas hatred is fuel. however, both can be the foundation for a cause. and, a result of a cause, I  suppose.

apparently there exists, some where, but I don’t, in truth, care precisely where, a study using a brain scanner to investigate the neural circuits that become active when people look at a photograph of someone they say they hate has found that the “hate circuit” shares something in common with the “love circuit”.

I’m thinking the opposite of love is not hate. however, it could be indifference. but, we’re trying not to introduce other words, here. on the other hand, indifference is not the same result if you say: the opposite of hate is not love. the meaning, if not the entire context changes, and radically.

what the hell, I’ll add an aside, here. me? I’ll fear indifference long before hate, and certainly love. indifference might suggest the loss of hope. And, maybe that’s the key to strapping on a vest stuffed with dynamite, or losing the will to love. love might take more courage and effort than hate, after all.

these words, and their application, might represent an important battlefield. the on-going war that rages (now, that’s an interesting word relative to this line-of-thinking) between these emotions is relentless. we seem to have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another, unflinchingly. it’s more likely that love will turn, and viciously, into seething hatred, and not so likely that hate will transform itself into love. if someone were to say: ‘I hate loving”, it’s sad, but that is more easy to relate to than: “I love hating”, which almost sounds like a chest-thumping cause for action, or call-to-action.

hate is often considered to be an evil passion that should, in a better world, be tamed, controlled and eradicated. yet, I think were you a biologist, hate is a passion that is of equal interest to love.

like love, hate is often seemingly irrational, and can lead individuals to both heroic and evil deeds. this fascinates me. how can two opposite sentiments lead to the same behavior?

perhaps that line-of-thinking led Ella Wilcox to say: “love lights more fire than hate extinguishes.”

I can’t say I agree with that. for example, love is often viewed as given, whereas is hatred is acquired. but, we can demonstrate how hatred is ladled-out carefully and becomes so much more powerful over time. if someone handed a terrorist (we really do leverage that term liberally, don’t we) a flower, they would likely shove up the givers butt, or grind it into dust and mix it with weed-killer and craftily introduce it into their coca-cola. having said that, perhaps the makers of coca-cola are actually terrorists of a sort because soft drinks are, indeed poison, and slowly killing a large portion of the worlds population. too many people say: “I love coca-cola”, and not enough say: “I hate coca-cola”. but, I digress (although shareholders of coca-cola enterprises love to make money, and certainly don’t hate it).

me? as I continue to explore the complexities of living the authentic life, I’m more likely to try and love, in general. or, at least care. this is where indifference creeps back into the thinking. I’m not sure you can win once love is part of the equation because many lines become blurred and the self can be lost. but, nobody actually wins where hate evolves. that’s a kobayashi maru. I’ll submit once indifference corrupts the soul, there exists hatreds foothold. and, I’ll often try to encourage my fourteen year old daughter to try, and hard, not to even use the word hate in a sentence – especially relative to people, and also inanimate objects (like new cellular telephones) – but more so, then, from a common-sensical standpoint. I also want her to be careful about dispensing and leveraging the word love. there is that tipping-point, after-all.

it all requires a lot of thinking and consideration. a cause, if you will, for that winnie-the-Pooh figgerin’ spot.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I can’t say whether this line-of-thinking originated with an army in general, the army, or Chief Master Sergeant Drew, in particular… However, it’s certainly apropos wherever, or however, you might be engaged.

In fact, I just may have thought of it myself:

“If it’s not working, either change the rules, or change the circumstances”.

Some call this thinking (interestingly, another word for thinking is “contemplating”, but that won’t work, here) part of situational awareness.

God gave us all varying degrees of discernment. We might as well use it. Some just better than others.

By the way… Do any of you spend time thinking about alternate words, and how they can be applied in a manner that demonstrates both the richness of our English language, and creative resourcefulness? It’s okay if you don’t. But, it’s vitally important that you understand that I do such things.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

what is change; how is it defined?

why do we change?

and, what is the meaning of change?

what if one changes back? Is that also a change, or do you lose points?

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Last week I found myself driving Haley Anne to summer soccer practice recently and faced with something of a challenge.

We were in my Ford F-150 (also known as the: “big black bad-ass soccer and dog truck”). And, it’s currently my vehicle of choice. Rowdy can sit comfortably in the back, or ride shot-gun. And, there are always soccer balls bouncing around in the back. It’s insight into my life and priorities. It’s cool and formidable, but also practical (it could pull the boat, in a pinch).

We witnessed a yellow Ferrari navigate a corner in good form and amidst a spray of gravel.

Haley Anne turned to me and asked why I didn’t drive a Ferrari (I do drive a Porsche, but she is apparently aware of the difference). “You can afford it can’t you?”, was the secondary question.

I almost told her that I am seriously considering a Volvo Cross Country Station Wagon (and, it’s true, I am).

The question that ended-up dropping out of my face was: “whom do you think has more money, the fellow with a Honda, or the fellow with a Ferrari?”

See… I thought this was a rather sage question. It was certain to set the stage for a ground-breaking dialogue between my beloved daughter and myself that would further establish our bond while I appeared wise, and she my able student.

I’ll pause here and admit that a quick image of Bill Pope popped into my head. I found my heart in my throat (I sure do miss my red-headed-Errol-Flynn-type-friend). I was also quickly thinking this was a good time to get her ready for the news that we are seriously considering a move from the big beautiful house in Milton (Alpharetta) to a more sensible home in the Crabapple area (I’m trying to send a message to my community – more about that later).

It’s still a great question, for obvious reasons. And, it raises so many fascinating ideas around wealth management, good stewardship, and self-image.

But, all that aside, I got a simple shrug with a: “who cares Daddy. Why can’t we have a Ferrari?”

I’m already thinking this is a great challenge (isn’t character always best when challenged?). What steps does this alert me to, and prepare me for, to curb her views around materialism? A defining Authentic Life moment and possibly a Kobayashi Maru.

…sigh. Lift me up, and stay tuned.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

It’s no secret that I got my butt seriously kicked in Colorado.

There was a period of time where it felt like God was taking so many things away from me and my family.

It would have been so much easier to duck and not be accountable. My partners took that path. But, I held firm in my belief of self and some form of unrealized potential for good. I faced a daily Kobayashi Maru. There was no sense of righteousness, mind you. Just a steely resolve to do what felt right. And, I learned there is a vital difference. And, perhaps thusly, began my own path understanding God’s gift of discernment.

I’m grateful for the pain, much of it burned into the back of my head; the wound fresh and itchy, as if it all happened just yesterday. The hollowness in the pit of my stomach a constant reminder of what I don’t want to be; and, what I can be.

Today, if I’m judged in an unfavorable light, I probably don’t “see” it because I am surrounded by so many good people and great opportunities. My Grandad – and, you’ve read a lot about him on this Blog – said: “if you are going to judge a man, do it by those around him”.

All of my experiences – the good, and the seemingly bad, have prepared me in the form of what God needs me to be, to help other men (I’m a surfer, so everyone’s a dude), make ever-better decisions, and realize their own potential. It’s part of living an authentic life.

So, God puts good men in my hands because I think he pushed me hard; he tested me and my mettle – and he trusts me.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

what’s all this about?

I can’t explain what that damn tree means - or, if it might stand for something.

However, here I do discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman.

brian cork by John Campbell

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"Perhaps victory can be realized best when the heart changes."

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about this particular Theme:

I'll warn you now that Tarski is theme of this blog created by Benedict Eastaugh and Chris Sternal-Johnson. It is named for the logician Alfred Tarski. I'll recommend his papers ‘The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages’ and ‘On the Concept of Logical Consequence’, both of which can be found in the collection Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics.