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School Talk 4 - Role Playing (2)

(audience participation in parenthesis)

As long as we have so many people, why we will start off very quickly and cover the area; and if you want to ask a question or refute me or tell me how nuts I am, why I’ll be happy to go with that. So what we’re going to talk about is role playing.

Now the human being is the only unspecialized mammal, at least on this earth or any other creature that we know of, and I’ve checked on several of them, even cockroaches are specialized. And so everything around has a specialty. It does—a bird flies, a dog smells, the cat crouches and so on down the line until where everything is specialized and they have no choice about it. A bird is hatched and it’s going to build, when it grows, will build the same kind of nest that it was hatched out of. It has no choice about it. The dog is born to hunt coons, he’s going to hunt coons and he’s not very good at anything else. If he’s a fox hound, he’s very good at fox hunting, but he’s very useless on coons. And a bird dog is real good at going and flushing quails out, but he’s worthless to chase the cattle with. And the same for all kinds of horses. Some are big draft animals and they are going to be that way and you can’t make race horses out of them; and some of them are race horses, and you can’t make draft animals out of them. And some kinds of cattle make a lot of milk and some of them make very little, and you can’t change them—no matter what. And the same with every other creature and these are just breeds in it, but every other creature on earth has a specialty. It does, but when it comes to man, there is no specialty at all. He just is unspecialized as he can be. So he can play any role he wants or he usually never thinks about that, he can play a role, he’s cast into a role by circumstance. Just happenstance. Maybe sometimes he had a little choice in it, or what he decided he wanted to do and what roles he wanted to play, but very little have we been told that we could play any role you so choose.

Now most technical education is teaching you how to play a certain role. Gene learned to fly airplanes, so he learned a role and he teaches other people how to play that role flying the airplane. But now we have many roles to play every day. You went somewhere and picked up the role of cutting hair, is that right? And Linda, you took all those little things and learned how to play that one role.

But we have a million roles to play every day and unless we are aware that all of them are roles and that I can play any role I want to. Now I could play the role of being a temperamental old “bastard” if I wanted to. It’s not hard. In fact, I practiced it a few times and it’s really fairly a simple role and now you can play the role of being a decent sort of person if you want to.

Several times in the last few weeks, we’ve talked about unconditional love and every where’s I go, and I’ve been out to Florida and to Salt Lake City and to California and two or three other places putting on workshops—Austin Texas and you bring that subject up and they all tell you it would be impossible. It’s just impossible to do that. Can’t do it at all. I saw one of them even wrote a note down and said—No go. You can’t do that one. But nevertheless, if you played the role of a person existing in a state of unconditional love for all life around you, it would be as easy to play as any other role. It would be as easy as is any other.

Now when you play a role, very quickly after you start playing the role, you begin to have the feeling and the attitude that goes with it. Seems that ever how I act, I will feel. Most often we let the feeling come first and we act in accord with the feeling, which is many times a very tedious way to go.

A lady told me not too long ago that she and her friend talked on the telephone for an hour and a half. The first hour was spent gritching and the last hour was doing well, you know, so you can play any role anywhere’s else. So I think it is rather worthwhile if each of us thought of a general over-all role and then we’ve got our technical roles to play.

We have our business roles to play; we have our personal and inter-personal relationships roles to play. Now we can play any way we want to and we don’t have to do a great big hassle about it because it’s really very simple. If I decide I’m going to play a role, I write my script—one line usually, and I become the director of that part and I’m the chief actor and the world is here for one thing only, for us as a stage, for us to put our roles on.

Now old Shakespeare came out a long time ago and said the whole worlds a stage and that is true. But how few of us deliberately, consciously choose the roles we’re going to play today. Huh? It’s just as easy, we can play any role we want. We can play the role of being an enthusiastic person or we can play the role of being a woe-sad, and down in the dumpys—what-have-you.

Now most people do not choose their roles—their cast in roles. So happenstance determined it, and I don’t think any of us, if we stop to think about it very much, wants to go through life letting happenstance be totally in charge of all our existence. Would you want to do that? Or would you rather be in charge.

(I’d rather be in charge.)

Ok, then you can pick out a role. Now you got all the time in the world to sit down and take your yellow pad and write your roles out.

Now we’re not going to play just one role because we have many roles to play through the day according to where we are, what we’re doing and so forth. Most of us play our technical roles real well because we were trained in that one and that usually is the only role we were trained in was the technical role. All are personal and interpersonal roles we just happened to fall into them or we’re cast into them by somebody else. We really have nothing much to say about it, we just happened there.

But that’s one where it makes life really worthwhile or whether it is just a tedious bunch of stuff all day long. About right? We can be in a turmoil most of our lives by allowing all our personal and interpersonal relationship roles to be just happenstance instead of something I deliberately choose, picked out and said this is the role I’m going to play. So what kind of roles would you like to play?

How about you? Now, I don’t want to know about your technical one, you learned that one, you can learn a hundred more of them if you want to. I’ve studied an awful lot of technical roles in my time, and I can play most of them real well because I had training in those and then the others I had to train myself to play those roles. That’s where I wrote the script.

Now when you take a technical training of any kind, the role is written out for you wasn’t it? When you went to school, they gave you the whole bit is that right? Told you how to do the whole thing.

Now they have roles in playing tennis. The first four classes are how to look good on the court. Now I’m not wolfin’, I’m telling you straight. It’s how to hold the racket, how to put your right clothes on and how to balance the ball on the racket and rattle it around so you don’t look like a “stump” on the court out there. So the first four lessons in taking technical tennis, you’re going to be a tennis player, the four lessons is how to look good on the court and that’s part of it. So otherwise you go out there gangling around, you wouldn’t look very good and so if you learned how to play, you still wouldn’t attract anything because you didn’t look right.

So anything that you do—if you’re going to learn to play golf. First you have to get so you look fairly well with a club in your hand. I’m talking about a golf club and so that you look all right out there and then they teach you how to hit the ball after while.

Now it doesn’t matter what you’re going to do, they’re all technical roles. You are taught a role and how to play it. Now we’re never taught how to get along with other people. We were never taught how to live without a bunch of stress in ourselves. That was just pure happenstance and anything that we leave to just pure happenstance is usually pretty crude. That about right.

(That’s about right.)

Pretty crude to say the least and sometimes worse than that. So let’s take on any number of areas. How would you like to feel physically? You want to go around sick all the time or do you like to feel as good as possible most of the time? Now that’s a role too. Now do you know people that play a role of being an invalid? You know them don’t you? You know them Joy? You know them honey? You know a few of them? They come in and tell you all their ailments by the time they walk through the door. Well, if you practiced a role and played the role of being an invalid, I’ll guarantee you will be.

It’s a wonderful way to have a chair leased at the doctor’s office. I used to have 24 chairs in my reception room and every one of them were leased out and not just once a day. They were leased an average of four times a day—what each of those chairs had a lessee on it. Some people came in and sat down every day. So they bring a lot of money that way. You didn’t tell them you were charging for a chair, you give them a bill for something else over there, but it was actually chair lease and they came all the time because they were playing the role of being an invalid.

Now you know some other people who play the role of being a very healthy individual, basically, is that right? And do you ever see them sick very much. They may get hurt or something, limp around a day or two or fuss about something; but they’re not sick all the time and they don’t have organ recital every time you meet them.

You know what is meant by an organ recital, don’t you? My liver did this, my gall bladder did this, my colon did that, my bladder did this, my left kidney hurt and my ears got something in it and you know, it goes on and on. All organs are laid out for you every time you see them.

So you can play healthy roles, you can play prosperous roles or you can play the welfare role. You know you can do that one too. It’s not really hard. I overheard a conversation the other day in the restaurant where they were going through how many different forms of welfare they could get. Evidentially they were newcomers here, and were going down the list of what they could get. They were playing the role of welfare folks—you can play that role.

All of us have probably met a few very wealthy people. There’s a few of them around. Do they play the same role, or have they got a different role going.

(No, they have different ones.)

Different. Can you play that role just as easy?


You can play that role just as easy. You can play the prosperous role as easy as you can play the pauper role.

But we’re still going to come out the way we act which is the role we’re playing is going to produce the feeling and the attitude that goes with it. So if you have an attitude—action going together, the condition will equal it over here. So you have attitude-action which you can take charge of this one which will automatically produce that one over here. You have a condition which automatically goes with it. It just gets there. So you can pretty well not depend on circumstances and situations.

Now once in a while you will have something come along that a circumstance that you can’t handle right quick like; but you don’t have to let your attitude go to hell just because you had a crappy situation around you—circumstance. You know we’re all going to run into a jillion kinds of circumstances, but you don’t have to let your mood go to dragging on the bottom and feel sorry for yourself and be ticked off at a person—just something about her does it. So you can put your mood wherever you like.

Now let’s say I’m not going to tell you any role to play, technical or otherwise, personal or interpersonal. I will tell you that the pleasant roles do produce much more pleasant conditions over here, OK? Now if you’d like as many pleasant conditions as possible and as few miserable conditions as possible, then it would behoove us to choose our role—write our script. That means how I’m going to play that role and start playing the role because that will produce the attitude that goes with it. You have a certain attitude and the condition will follow pretty well down the line.

One time we drew out a bunch of stuff called a tone scale and we set out some of the very basic attitudes that people have starting down at the bottom with apathy and the next one, fear, and the next one held resentment, and the next one anger and the next one, boredom, and so on up to contentment, and we went on above all that. But most of the people are stumbled into the ones that we just mentioned—purely by happenstance. It just happens.

I think some old boy wrote a few thousand years ago in a book and said that people were bounced to and fro like a cork on the ocean. In other words, about every thing that comes along influenced how you’re going to feel or your attitude and then the action goes with it automatically and then that’s the way you wind up, and it’s really totally unnecessary. You are not a victim of circumstances.

If you don’t take charge, then circumstances will be in charge, but you’re still not a victim of it. You just let it be that way. And I’m trying to suggest that possibly we don’t have to be seemingly a victim of circumstances. Now any kind of circumstances liable to happen because you can’t choose all the circumstances because everybody around you had got a finger in them; and you can’t keep in charge of all those, but you can sure choose your response to that circumstance, OK? You can do that. Maybe the whole world caves in on you—Chicken Little’s acorn fell on her head and she went running. “The sky is falling in because it came from up there, so it must be the sky.” And so you don’t have to think the sky fell in on you just because now and then we all run into situations where the circumstances are not to our best wants to say the very least, you know.

We run into some circumstances that everybody else has got a finger in. A friend of mine when and bought him a business not long ago. He called me and got some money and went to the bank and got the rest of it; and he went down and got all the things done and the guy was all in favor of it. He goes down to write a check one morning to take over the business. He had just talked to him the day before and everything was greed on—so many dollars, etc. etc.; and the guy acted like he never heard of him the next morning. So, you know, the deal fell through. So what—that’s nothing to get upset over. There’s another deal to be made right down the street.

I worked in Orange County for a while and I found that there are a million deals for each person if you live in Orange County, California. They got more deals than you can shake a stick at. But if you don’t like one, another one will do just as good. They’ll be ten of them tomorrow anyway. So a deal fell through—this friend was all upset and got so disgusted he quit work and did everything and just went home and went in the house. But it so happened we went by and visited with him the other day and so he decided to go out and make another deal and he called Monday, I think it was or Tuesday of this week and said, “Man, I got a real good one this time.” And we’ll see if it goes through.

So you can choose you’re response to any set of circumstances and you do not choose circumstances. They kind of come by. They’re automatic. There are jillions of people involved in circumstances, but you can choose your response. Somebody may be all upset one morning and tell you to move, is that right? But if you just fiddle around a while like Glen, and I used to do with leases, why it’s not so urgent anymore. Glen and I used to go out to rent a building and they told us a lease was necessary, so we told them draw it up. Well, one of us went to get the lease. I said I’ll send it to my partner that was with me the other day, he’s in New York. Well, send it on, we’ll take over the building today, and so we would have these leases going here, yon and elsewhere. By the time it got to New York, he’d already left, so it had to be resent. By that time we were through with the building usually by the time it caught up with you and no lease on the thing. But, you know, that’s a remarkable situation.

(We lost our touch somewhere.)

Yeah, we started signing the “friggin” lease, I got to have somebody that knows how to handle it, you know, or I could have sent the lease for this building somewhere and somewhere and somewhere and you know, you use it as long as you want to while you’re shifting this lease around out there, and you’re through with it, so that’s called the delaying role, you know, you can play this delay role, that’s all right.

(Give it to a lawyer.)

Well, they’ll lose it. They’ll put it in a file and lose it, and never find the durn thing. So you can do all sorts of things with it; but anyway, you can keep all these going for an awful long time, and you can choose your own response to circumstances. Ok?

I’ve talked long enough; now let’s have a round of discussion. Who’s got a question, who’s got a comment, who says it can’t be done?

(I heard a pretty neat thing on the radio.)

No I never turn the radio on.

(Reagan and the Pope met in Alaska—I forgot who the people were. I think they were the newsmen or whatever, but they rushed him over here. So while he was waiting, he sat down in this wheel chair, you know, just to rest. He was just sitting in the wheelchair. He wasn’t at all crippled. So when Reagan and they all got together, they pushed him out there in the wheel chair.)

The Pope?

(No, the Pope and Reagan are meeting the guy sitting in the wheel chair, just resting. They rush him up there, he gets down on his knees and kisses the Pope’s knees and he gets up and walks off, and there’s a big Ahhhhhh.)

A miracle. You heard the story of the guy that was injured a little bit in an auto accident and he’s laid totally quadriplegic, neither arm, neither leg. The doctors looked him over and couldn’t account for it, but he still couldn’t move it and they’d stick pins in him and he didn’t flinch or anything.

So finally the insurance company paid off for total and permanent disabilities—some fantastic settlement and the agent that delivered the check to him said, “Now we know you are gold bricking on us. We know it and we’re going to watch you day and night so you’ll never have a way to really enjoy this check because we’re going to have somebody in sight of you at ever minute.”

He said, “That’s quite all right. I don’t mind one bit because I’ll tell you what. I’m going to do in the morning. They’re going to load me on a stretcher in an airplane and we’re going to Lourdes of France and they’re going to unload me and take me up to that spring and you’re going to see the God-damndest miracle you’re ever seen in your life.”

So you know, there’s a way out of everything. So very small expense to get that where he could get up and run and take his check and go with it and still couldn’t be accused of gold bricking.
Ok, any other questions, comments? Something you want to say.

(Well, it seems easy to choose how you want to feel, a certain way—another way.)

I didn’t say it was easy. I said you could do it. So how long do you want to stay down there in the pit, huh? How long do you want to stay there? I’m asking you now, do you want to stay there because it’s hard to pick yourself up out of apathy. It’s hard to get out of a bed some mornings—not for me, but for most people. They can hardly get up—me, its jump and get out of there. It’s hurtin’.

Sure it’s hard, but you can be over it in 30 minutes or you can stay in it for days. Which one do you want to do? Inertia is quite a thing to overcome. Inertia says to me—you can’t do it.

(What about you’re going along your way and just the way you want to feel and you’re around someone who’s playing that role of I just feel awful and you’re around that person for hours and hours. It seems to have a little bit of effect on you.)

If you allow it. I said you can respond to circumstances.

I deal with people that mostly are “down in the dumpy’s, honey—day in and day out. That’s the way I earn my living for many years, OK? If I allowed it to get me, I’d be in a mess, huh? So you don’t listen to it. You look at them and you make cooing sounds and you’re thinking of something else, OK?

And then there was a man that made a few talks around the country that said when you see a man down, kick him—it gives him a reason to get up. So when you listen to these poor souls giving their organ recital, you either say “Uh huh”, “yep” and you’re thinking about something else like that; or if nothing else, you turn around and say, “Aw shut up.” Now today I was involved in a conversation with a lady who was telling me all sorts of things and that’s exactly what I had to say. “Shut it up.” “You’re not having visions and receiving revelations from heaven—you’re hearing voices like every other psychotic in the world and that’s the only thing you can do.”

Now I could have been very nice and said, “Oh, you poor thing.” You know, but then I would have been involved in it more ways than one because she was about to move over and move me in. No, you don’t have to let other people determine your inner feeling. I do know what you’re talking about; and if you don’t pay attention, they’ll dray you down. I prefer to pay attention.

(Pay attention to what’s going on?)

Yes, so I’ll tell you what you can do the next time you meet one, ok? You can determine you’re going to set the mood so you just be so enthusiastic that they at least get up one notch from this agony they’re in, ok?

(Yes, it takes a lot more energy.)

Right. So you be the mood setter rather than letting them set the mood. OK?

We talk about in a business that you have to have a good mood around a place or the business goes to hell in a hand basket. So be the mood setter, ok? That’s why when I run a practice---well, let me explain—when I had a practice, I had a girl that worked for me out in the reception room who didn’t know very much, but she had a wonderful sense of humor. She was a good comedienne, and she kept them laughing out there. Then when they came through the door, I had them laughing—so when they all went out the door, they felt better.

(We went to the movies and she was telling me how awful she was feeling and everything—she always says that. I’ve been having an awful day, awful day; and she lists all the things that happened; and I go, “Well, that’s nice to feel that way for a while, now you can feel another way.)

Right, treat it light—fly with me and feel good, and then you can go back and practice your other role later, OK? It’s all right, no sweat?

Ok, next one. We’ll have another one someday because the next two weeks are taken up. We’ll let somebody know.