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A Huge Disappointment

Updated on May 7, 2020
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Before retiring, Jack worked at IBM for over 28 years. His articles have over 120,000 views.


This is an essay about my disappointment with some of my teammates. After all these years, over 40 years, I have given up. Life is too short and I decided to make a break with them. I doubt they will ever read this since they have refused to read my writings in the past. We disagree on politics and almost all issues. We've debated them over this past month since the start of this quarantine. My disappointment is more to do with how they have chosen to react. It is a problem with group think. They are acting as a group and not think for themselves. I guess I expected more from them.

- May 2020


This past month or so has opened my eyes. I was of the opinion that controversial issues needs to be discussed especially among family and friends. Despite the confrontational environment, which would surely happen, I felt they are worth exploring and clear the air. The conventional wisdom is that one should never discuss religion and politics.

As it turned out, I was wrong. Nothing good can come from open and frank discussions. My experience has proven to me that people are just too set in their ways. No amount of logic or evidence or real stories can change a mind that is formed over a lifetime.

A good example was during the Brett Kavanaugh nomination last year. I wrote a commentary at the conclusion of that event. It is linked below. It explains a lot of what is happening with our current political climate.

The Bottom Line

I won't go into details and it really does not matter. The bottom line is I have terminated my relationship with four of my teammates. These are people I knew most of my adult life. We were on the same Varsity team. We competed in tournaments. We met each other's family and enjoyed BBQ parties. We attended reunion dinners and alumni events.

The interpersonal relations built up over a lifetime seems to mean very little. When it comes to politics, all that goes out the window.

It sort of explain where we are as a country. We are a divided nation. The past few elections has been settled by a thin margin. Every vote do count.

I came to this realization over time. Being an engineer by training, I thought reason and logic and common sense would prevail.

I was wrong. People are ruled mostly by emotions. This "bias" is very hard to overrule. Most people are slaves to them. They cannot separate their feeling from public policy.

I Gave It The Old College Try...

I was naive to think that rational people, when given the opportunity to discuss issues would reach some understanding. Even if we disagree, we can find some common grounds. Well, I was wrong.

For example, I offered to jointly do a project together. We decided on choosing a charity organization and donate our money to help. They came up with a list of liberal charitable causes. I selected one and donated some money.

Did that help? What do you think?

The straw that broke the camel's back. When one of my teammate started to curse me and actually wish me harm, that is when I realized, they have lost all sense of balance.

What I learned From This Experience

There were many lessons learned. In that respect, it is not a total loss. I learned that the human mind is complex. Like the fictional stories on the popular TV show, Star Trek, the difference between Captain Kirk a human, and Spock, a Vulcan, is their brain. Spock is ruled by logic only, devoid of emotions. As such, he is very good for the most part. He can make the correct decisions without being influenced by emotions. Kirk on the other hand has intuition which gives him an upper edge. There were a few incidences where his intuition and emotions saved them in a crisis.

Lesson One - Logic does not always rule the day for humans.

Humans are biased. We cannot be objective about almost anything.

Lesson Two - The media played a role but not to blame for the effects. People are susceptible and the media was all too willing to inject themselves to distort and distract and enhance the fissure that existed.

Lesson Three - No good deeds goes unpunished.

A Message To My Teammates

It is clear to me now. We will never agree. We are just too different. We speak the same language but we don't communicate on the same plane. It is a combination of our history, our experiences and our intellect. I guess that is why we have a two parties system. The two sides are just that different.

We may agree on some of the problems but disagree on the solutions. Moreover, we don't even agree on some of the problems. What is a problem to me seems to be not for you guys and vice-versa.

The Only Way Out

I have been contemplating this for a while. The end is inevitable. Here is my logic. It is almost as if it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. My teammates has an image of what a conservative is. They hold on to that belief despite any evidence to the contrary. They have to. If they don't, their whole belief system comes crashing down.

It is almost like a religion. The progressives I know, are mostly atheists. Yet, they have certain believes which are based strictly on faith. Once the veil is broken, they have no where to go. Like a religious person who discovered there is no God. It is that same feeling.

I noticed during our discourse and debate. When I win the argument, instead of agreeing or apologizing, they tend to double down. They loses their cool and start cursing. That is when I know they have capitulated. A sad state to witness. How, well educated people, with sound mind and body, descend to the lowest level of cruelty.

As a Christian, I don't hold any grudges. I can excuse their behavior. Never the less, it is a huge disappointment. I expected better treatment and respect. So be it. I have accepted it.


I guess what was most disappointing is the realization no matter what I try, and reach-out, more than half way, the results did not change. I am fine with it. Consider this past month to be dues paid. Life is too short. I have much better things to do with my time and energy. This article is my closure. I have finished this chapter of my life. I will focus my energy on helping our school through the Alumni association and my other volunteer work. When the quarantine ends, I will return to my previous life with a new appreciation of the simple things in life.

This past month was not a total loss. I actually accomplished quite a bit. Here is my daily diary.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Jack Lee


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