My old acting friend Nancy Baker used to say, "Stay in the bleachers and off the playing field," aka, don't get involved in other people's drama. She and I studied under John Ruskin in his acting class in L.A.
I was reminded of her thoughts this week when I read a post on my Facebook page that read, "Not my circus; not my monkeys." It applies to most any interpersonal relationships, but this week I thought about it more in terms of tennis and foreign affairs.
You see, growing up, my mom was a big tennis player and so was my dear friend Danny. Both would have liked to have seen me get involved in the sport and I enjoyed watching them play, but I had no interest in getting on the court.
Because of them I got interested in following major tournaments and famous players as a spectator. So I was looking forward this year to a final in the men’s U.S. Open between veteran finalists Federer and Djokovic.
I was pleased with the final between Serena Williams and the Danish tennis finalist Caroline Wozniaki with the predictable outcome. It was William's 17th major title and a record setting $4 million payday with on-court congratulations from fellow 17-major winners Navratilova and Evert.
But the surprise men's final of (at least to me) unknown Japanese star Kei Nishikori and Croation giant at 6'6" Marin Cilic was not what I expected. Cilic didn't even have to move much on the court with his reach and as John McEnroe quipped "wingspan" in beating the 5’8” Nishikori in straight sets; 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. I have to admit that Herman and I fast forwarded through much of the match. As they say, I didn’t have a horse in the race.
But on the world of foreign affairs, it could also be said we need to stay more in the bleachers, especially in the Middle East. It seems nothing we have tried to "fix" is fixable and only seems to make things worse and antagonize the most rabid of the Islamic groups such as Isis and Al Qaeda.
This may seem simplistic, but when it comes to other people's drama, it seems to me "when in doubt, stay out." At least that's my take on it.