mercredi, octobre 25, 2006

Lessons for Life

The world ain't fair

It ain't nice. Nobody cares if you get stiffed, if your feelings get bruised or how hungry you are. Everybody's trying to get a piece of the action, trying to survive. It helps to be in the family, but the street is equally cruel to everyone. Over the years, mostly through my mistakes, I've learned a few things. You can learn a lot from books, but it's not always enough; you could end up like Claudius, the wisest idiot in Rome. I'm a reader myself, but nothing has educated me quite like the lumps I got on the bricks. Look at John Gotti, the "Teflon Don." Nobody was as street savvy as he was, and even he got pinched in the end. Life is like the street. When you're feeling strong, you can't understand why other guys have so many problems. A few years later, you can be moving along fine, still feeling strong, only to be ambushed by one of a million things: family, work, health, divorce, tainted spinach, whatever. Some of these things I've learned the hard way, but you shouldn't have to. If you're smart, you'll put these rules to use before you look back and wish you had.

Keep your guard up

Some guys are like little dogs: all bark and no bite. However, all of their empty threats can soften you up for the real thing. I saw this happen to a friend of mine. Once, this scrapper made a threat and nothing happened. Time went by and he threatened again. Both times, my friend was ready for the kid, but by the third time, he thought the kid was an empty suit -- all talk. He was wrong. The minute you let your guard down, you get burned.

Stay out of arguments

If two guys get in a twist and can't settle their dispute, you will eventually be asked to choose sides. Don't charge in like a sap -- wait until they've worn themselves out. Getting in a fight that isn't your own is useless; it serves no purpose. Once they are exhausted, you can ride in fresh on the winning side, crush the loser, and look like a hero.

Meet only when necessary

One thing we hate to do on the street is have a sit-down. When a cafone in your organization asks to meet, make sure he is prepared. If there is a meeting, there should be a decision. A meeting that simply serves to schedule another meeting is useless. Meetings are necessary, but not every three days. I often wonder: Do some guys just enjoy meetings? I thought broads did that. The importance of contacts and knowing when to back off…

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