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Dealt Bad Cards Played Them Well

Dealt Bad Cards Played Them Well
June 4, 2009 Ignacio Fiallos

Hi Gregg & Friends,

I was recently reading the online magazine SMITH and came across a thoughtful and thought-provoking interview with author, Joe Queenan.  He’s best known as a humorist but he’s recently written a memoir, CLOSING TIME, which candidly discusses his abusive, alcoholic father and  growing up poor in public housing.

SMITH is  known for their six-word memoirs and when the interviewer asked Queenan for his he replied:  Dealt Bad Cards.  Played Them Well.

I was moved by Mr. Queenan’s interview because I don’t feel there’s enough honest conversation in our country — even with meltdowns and bailouts –  about poverty and  economic justice but I’ll table that discussion for now.   What has stayed with me since I read the interview a few weeks ago was his six-word memoir:  Dealt Bad Cards .  Played Them Well.

Joe Queenan was seriously dealt bad cards and has achieved notable professional & personal success.   Inspired by this, who among us, whether in genuine distress or in a party pity, has not at some point lamented the cards we’ve been dealt?  Exactly.

Cliche as it may be, it’s all about how we play those cards.   We make choices.   Even in the face of great adversity we have emotional power if not physical or economic power.  We can fold or we can fight on.   This is the essence of Dr. Gregg’s message:  Emotional Strength + Mental Strength = Master Your World.

Though the message is simple, the work is hard and I acknowledge it can be daunting.  Joe Queenan points out we are not all created equal.  Even with the bad cards in his hand he was born with a gift for language and a great intellect.  To his enormous credit he has used them.

–Barbara Barna Abel/Assistant Head Coach


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