Monday, July 15, 2013

The Fastest Gunslinger


We used to watch matinee movies every Saturday afternoon.  After doing a few chores my mother allowed my older sister, two older brothers, and me to go to the movie theater.  Usually, we saw westerns: Hopalong Cassidy, the Cisco Kid, Gene Autry, Wild Bill Elliot, Johnny Mack Brown, etc.

The themes were all similar  with small changes, but we didn’t know any different.  We clapped and laughed at the same time as everyone else.  One story line used often was about a gunslinger.  He was fast, accurate, slim, and good-looking.  The role was played by a good guy wearing a white hat one week and a bad guy wearing a black hat the next week. 

One thing was always certain: lurking in the background or in the near future of the story was a FASTER GUNSLINGER.  The last gunslinger, the winner, was a good cowboy.

I learned this to be a fact of life: there is always a faster gunslinger.  A smarter person.  A more beautiful girl.  A handsomer guy.  A better quarterback.  Etc.  So before we start preening, or boasting we need to remember there is always someone who is ready to challenge the existing standard, to topple you off the pedestal.  And that is a good lesson for us all.

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