Men talking in Park.


"It is how I was raised. Now that I look back I see how limiting that was and wonder how much more I could have accomplished," he said.

"What's stopping you now?" I asked. It was a simple word but in his childhood it was more of a philosophy.


I watched that day as two men played cards in a nearby park. It was a warm, sunny day blessed with an occasional breeze just when you needed it.

I saw it as the kind of day I would rather be resting in a lounge chair in my yard with a cool drink within reach. Eyes closed, baseball cap tilted slightly over my eyes to shade them from the sun.

Here I was, walking in the park perhaps in search of the perfect tree to sit under while watching the world go by. It is another one of my favorite things to do; watch the world go by.

Two men caught my eye when I arrived. Because they were playing cards, I thought it was best not to interrupt them.

Instead, they called to me.

"Hey, fella!" one man shouted. "Come over here and settle this."

This might not be a good thing.

"Are you asking me to take sides on a bet?" I asked as I walked toward them.

"Not a bet," he said.

"Keep in mind, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose," I added.

The other man began laughing hysterically.

"There you go. I told you. That's exactly what I said," the man shouted.

I was a bit confused at this point. I thought they were going to ask me about the card game. I don't play cards, so I thought I'd be safe in this conversation.

"What's this all about?" I asked.

"Sometimes," the man said.

"Sometimes what?"

"The word. I just told my friend that sometimes is a philosophy. He brought it up when I lost the last hand. He said exactly what you said, "Sometimes you win..."

"How's that a philosophy?"

"My parents, my father in particular, always used that word when I asked about things growing up," he said.

Pausing for a moment as though he was remembering some particular conversations, he continued.

"It is how I was raised. Now that I look back I see how limiting that was and wonder how much more I could have accomplished," he said.

"Give me an example," I asked.

"We were poor. If I asked him if poor people ever get rich, he'd say sometimes. If I asked if I was smart enough, he'd say sometimes. If I asked if he loved me, he'd say sometimes."

The sunlight that warmed the day suddenly sparkled in the corner of his eye. That last thought brought a tear.

"So, hearing your friend say, "Sometimes you win," made you think about that?"

"Yes," he said in a whisper.

"So, what's stopping you now?" I asked.

He looked surprised.

"Men our age don't get second chances," his friend said.

"Sometimes," I said. He smiled.

"But here are three ways to change that."

First...Every ending is a new beginning. If retirement brings an ending, freedom to dream big doesn't end there.

Second...they say attitude is everything so choose a better one than that.

Third...take on the challenge to change the perception of being old. It's nice playing cards in the park. Why not be proactive in your community. If you have children, prove to them it's never too late to begin again.

The truth is sometimes you win but you always learn from losing. That's a win, too."

The man stood up to shake my hand.

"Sometimes," he said with emphasis, "you have a second chance and you don't know it," he said.

"When God can't get you to see it, "Sometimes" he sends a "Friend you never met" to remind you, I added.

"I believe in You!"
~ Bob Perks ~
[ by: Bob Perks Copyright © 2009 ( -- {used with permission} ]

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