At this very moment I know one chess person who has a LOT of money and still gets suppers at homeless shelters, food places, etc. He has $200K house (almost new), and gets thousands per month in income (part time job), disability, and other perks. It's irritating but no more, in fact likely much, much less, than big US corporations who get big tax breaks from Uncle Sam or outright cash (McDonald's in foreign countries). I love big oil's arguments. They feel they should be guaranteed 6-7% increases per year just like other stocks. There are no guarantees guys, not anymore.
Despite all that, and those losers!?, still give at this time of the year to reputable institutions such as the Salvation Army bell-ringers ensconced in front of grocery stores. Tip your waiters and waitresses well (they have kids too). Help the ladies who wrap packages inside bookstores. None of these folks are walking around with silver canes or walkers, they have more empathy than most. Finally, the SA is paying some of these folks to freeze their tush's off.
Put some real money in the collection plate. I've had people tell me they can't do such and such because they just bought a computer, an iPad, or their third smartphone. Those things, and their contracts, aren't freebies. Set aside some for the less fortunate. And if you really and truly don't have much, offer a great smile and a hello. That always helps even if it is only you!
I heard yesterday about some idiot in Utah who won a Lamborghini and wrecked it within 6 hours, driving too fast in bad conditions. I just saw another one of those Alabama Wal-Mart people postings. Depressing stuff. On the other hand, I just heard on NPR about the 5 Star Taj Hotel in India and the fastidious, helpful, and over the top service the employees provided ALL guests when they were attacked by terrorists in Mumbai. Many of them lost their lives or the lives of members of their family.
In another statement of complete WTF!, the North Koreans announced that just before Kim Jong Il died, the mountain where he would be buried gave off a red glow. They embraced this idea but... I think we now know where the entrance to "hell" is!!
One last thought which I will cover in a future Gentlemens Chess Club newsletter: BE KIND to new chess players or new club players. I remember one time when 3 or 4 guys showed up one evening (not at my club, a different one I belonged to). You could tell they played chess with each other at lunch and probably other occasions (they did A/C installations). We paired them off against members of the club who proceeded to do their best at wiping them out!! They never came back. Sure, they weren't as good as they probably thought they were, that's common in chess... but there was too much "silent glee" at roasting and toasting the new guys. I am sure they "felt" the "you're new here aren't you?" vibes. Also who knows how many others they might have eventually brought to the club. For all their "thinking" prowess, lots of people, and lots of chess players, don't really manifest it.
Bad manners often go with bad character.
Otherwise, Merry Christmas to all my readers.