It had been a long night, but not unlike many others.
Scott Bailey hadn’t slept well. He’d tossed and turned a lot. He was up three times, and he was wide awake before the alarm.
He wasn’t worried about the day. He got more and more agitated in his trial work, but it wasn’t because the courtroom worried him. He’d been in law practice now for over 10 years, and he was averaging three or more multi-day trials a month.
No, it wasn’t the trials themselves that bothered him. Instead, it was the whole legal business that bothered him, all the way from A to Z.
Did anybody really like lawyers? Or were lawyers just tools folks used to get what they wanted, whether they deserved it or not? He thought of the line to a song he’d written recently: ‘Fighting hard for selfish justice.’ There was really no such thing as ‘selfish’ justice, but people acted like there was.
He thought about how people tried to do everything possible to get life to work on their terms. They tried brow-beating people, and fought every way they could to get what they wanted. They tried manipulation, and if that didn’t work then intimidation. He heard reports of people bargaining with God even. They would do anything to get life to conform to their expectations.
They wanted to control people and events, but they hadn’t learned to respond to life, and only reacted to it, usually in a knee-jerk type of fashion. He reminded clients some that God made us two promises that we simply can’t get around: (1) in this life we will have problems, and (2) in this life we will have problem people. He laughed, thinking this was good: this is the reason people need lawyers.
It’s best to get around these by responding to them positively, not negatively. Responding in positive ways produces moral and emotional mental health. Responding to them negatively, by trying to get life to accept our terms is psychological suicide.
As he thought about things, it sure seemed to fit. He thought about this song a lot because each line described an element of our social system in much of modern society, and in the United States particularly.
He thought about the famous poet Shakespeare’s comment about lawyers in one of his plays: “The first order of business should be to kill all the lawyers.” Laughing, he recalled the words of Pogo – the cartoon philosopher: “Perhaps we should just shorten their legal pads.” He thought this was a better idea.
Showering, he was amused by what he’d heard about the law being a lot like practicing prostitution. Both lawyers, and prostitutes suffer from the same reality. This is the fact that with both, the value of services rendered drastically declines once those services have been performed!
The jokes were countless, but many of them were accurate.
Scott was thinking about the trial he had this morning. He wasn’t worried about this trial. He was pretty sure he had this one in the bag, although he had been wrong before. He knew he’d lost trials he had expected to win, but he’d also won trials he’d expected to lose.
He remembered one time when the opposing lawyer proved his client was lying. The situation had not only been embarrassing, but he lost big time. The real cause had been his client’s lies, but of course his client didn’t see it that way. His client thought it was all his fault.
He recalled the joke about how to tell if a lawyer was lying. The answer was, “If his mouth is moving.” He thought that this didn’t only apply to lawyers.
Driving to the courthouse, he thought about one chorus of the three chorus of this song that convicted him the most. Each line described himself, or people he knew personally.
America! Land of opportunity!
Money is our hidden treasure
Wealth becomes the standard measure
As we seek our fleeting pleasures
Pride without humility.
Great concern but no compassion
Fighting hard for selfish justice
Becoming slaves in all dimensions
While striving hard to be set free.
Seeking answers while avoiding issues
Learning facts but never knowing
Seeking knowledge, seldom wisdom
It was actually strange how this song was written. Most songs he writes take a lot of butt-burning work. You sit for hours and get little inspiration. But this wasn’t true with this song. Scott recalled he was actually singing another song when the lyrics to this song started forming in his mind.
The lyrics came so fast he had stop everything and write them down. In not much over an hour, he’d written the entire song – both lyrics and music. As he looked at the intensity and depth of the song, he knew this wasn’t in his own abilities alone as a song writer.
He then realized he was in some way being used as an instrument for something that needed to be said. He didn’t fully understand. Since then, three other songs had come to him the same way. Most of his songs didn’t come so easy, but these had.
At the courthouse, he arrived and parked. He knew he could have driven there blindfolded, and he could find the big stately building blindfolded also. Everything was so mechanical. As was the way he was dressed.
The lawyer’s uniform, at least for the courtroom, was an expensive suit and tie – and he laughed as he thought, with alligator shoes. This was the way he had to dress almost every day.
On days when he wasn’t in the courtroom, he would dress down to a degree, but he would still wear nice slacks and a nice dress shirt. You had to make an impression on people. He recalled the maxim: ‘There is no second chance for a first impression.’
Personally, he was more comfortable in blue jeans and a t-shirt.
Walking to his destination, he passes a young, very nice looking young woman in her mid-twenties. They make eye contact, and she smiles at him sweetly, and even in a flirtatious way. He smiles back at her.
He thought, “Well, Scott Bailey, even though you feel over-the-hill, run down and burned out, have just turned 40, at least there are still some people who don’t think you are worn out.” Being a singer himself, he recalls two country songs he liked: ‘Baby, I May Be Used, but I Ain’t Used Up,’ and also ’I Ain’t As Good As I Once Was, but I’m As Good Once As I Ever
Was.’ They brought a smile to his lips as he walked along.
He arrives at the courthouse and walks up the front steps. Thirty-five long steps, to be exact. He has counted them many times before. They look like marble steps, or imitation marble.
Despite his increasing negative feelings about the law the past two or three years, he really loves this courthouse. Other courthouses he goes to are modern buildings. This one is not. It was built about 1910. It had earned the distinction of being an historical site.
Pictures along the hall display an early 1900s culture.
It has ceilings that are 25 or more feet high. It is hollow sounding when you walk down the halls. Doors to the courtroom are big, and made of impressive dark wood.
He climbs the long set of steps to the second floor.
He could take the elevator, but the stairs take longer, and he’s in no hurry to get to the courtroom. He wants all the time he can to focus on his never-changing thoughts. Plus, he wants to spend as little time as possible talking about the case with his client, or the opposing counsel. He just wants to get on with things.
He enters the courtroom. Like the rest of the building, the courtrooms are also old and historical in appearance, but they are elegant and in immaculate condition. The bench for the judge, and the tables for the lawyers are made of impressive, heavy wood. Like the halls, the ceiling is high. Even the benches for spectators are wooden. The floors are wood that produced a hollow, echoing sound as you walked on them.
Most modern courthouses are nice enough. But everything is modern, and metal, and stale. They are not impressively places. Like most offices, they are just places to work. But this courthouse is so different. If he has to practice law, at least he likes coming here to do it.
In some ways he feels like the young lawyer, Abraham Lincoln, back in the 1800s, before he became President of the United States.
Although didn’t have any political aspirations, he did have a strong fondness for history. He hadn’t had this as a kid in school. To him then, history was boring. But today he loved history. Over the last 10 years he had become a amateur student of history. This was surely true of American history, although ancient history fascinated him too.
In the courtroom he greeted his client and the other attorney. But he had definitely timed it well this morning. He hadn’t been in the courtroom three minutes when the bailiff came out and in his bellowing voice declared, “All rise! This court is in session! The honorable . . .”
Scott rose out of reflex but he wasn’t listening.
Jury selection in this type of case is easy. It’s not like this was a capital case and his client was facing death or life imprisonment. Scott didn’t do criminal cases, but only civil ones.
Criminal cases were about criminals, while civil cases were about money: the almighty dollar.
Again he thought: ‘Money is our hidden treasure – wealth becomes the standard measure – as we seek our fleeting pleasures.’ Why do his thoughts keep reverting back to this song?
Jury selection was done in record time and the court took a short recess.
Taking a recess reminded him of being back in grade school.
Scott wasn’t worried about this trial. He was quite self-confident in what he was doing. He was a competent lawyer. He did wish this case would simply go away, but he wasn’t worried about it.
No, Scott was just facing burn-out, in a little over 10 years. He wasn’t old enough to be facing burn out. After all, he was only 40 years old. His age didn’t really bother him, but it was becoming more of an issue to him.
His thoughts began to wander, as they did so much. Sometimes he had a real hard time staying focused on what he should be concentrating on.
Damn, where had the last 18 years gone since he and Sharon had gotten married? Megan was now 15, Julie was now 9, and Garvin was 8.
Where had the time gone? Doesn’t it say somewhere that, “Life is but a vapor”? He was starting to believe it totally.
He loved country singer Kenny Chesney. He recalled one of his songs: ‘Don’t Blink.’ It said the same thing in a lyrical way. If you blink, you lose 10 years it seems like.
Oh, how he loved his family. He lived for them – at least in his mind, if not always in his time commitments.
He recalled a speech he had heard: ‘Purposes, Priorities and Practices.’ The speaker had said that all three of these need to line up in our lives. What is most important to us is where we place our priorities, and then our practices – or what we do each day – should fall in line with this.
Scott knew his practices didn’t always reflect is purposes and priorities. After all, he spent most of his weeks in trial, like now. But his thoughts, and his heart were with his family.
He’d met Sharon when they were both 22 and in college. They had been married four years later, as he was finishing law school.
She was a beautiful woman physically, both facially and bodily. She had not lost any of her beauty since they were married, even though she’d had two children. She always worked to keep herself fit.
In handling divorces he had observed that both women and men just did not seem to regard each others’ feelings as much after they got married. They just seemed to let themselves go, and stopped trying very hard after the wedding. They stopped keeping physically fit, and many times gained substantial weight. Also, they stopped keeping in tune with each other’s soul and spirit, and just didn’t connect as much after the wedding.
He was glad both he and Sharon did try to keep physically fit for each other, and also mentally and spiritually they tried to connect with each other on a regular basis. In handling divorces, Scott had done a lot of reading, and had even defined some ‘needs’ that both men and women had that he tried to communicate to clients. Most times, in most divorce cases, those needs were NOT being met. If they were being met to some degree, it was to a much lesser degree than they should be met.
In law practice, and handling divorces, women did not seem to realize their appearance was often a cause for divorce. It’s what caused so many guys to look for younger women. Too many men said that their wife just didn’t seem to care about her appearance anymore. But then from the woman’s side of the story, it wasn’t usually about appearance as much as it was about a man’s unwillingness to communicate, and spend quality time with her. Men often forget how to approach their wives with what their wives need – and not just expect their wives to give them what they want. They often lose the personal touch approach. Meaningful conversation to many men meant speaking 100 words during dinner.
These things led Scott into developing his theory on human needs.
In handling divorce cases, he’d heard so much from both perspectives.
And this made him appreciate his marriage. Both he and Sharon really cared about each other, and tried to meet each other’s needs.
It wasn’t anything in particular that bugged him about law practice. It was just that everything seemed to bug him about law practice, which included hearing clients complain about their spouses.
At least he wouldn’t have to fight his client for fees in this case if he lost. He’d done that a lot – even though he won almost all of his cases. He knew how to spot the losers.
But he also knew how to spot the loser clients that might not pay. He’d had plenty of them in his day. After he finished fighting with the other lawyer, the witnesses, the judge, and everyone else you can think of, he would then have to fight with his client over his fees.
He had once read where lawyers were third on the list for being in a stressful position. Surgeons in the operating room were first. Policemen on the streets, or in dangerous situations were second. But litigation lawyers were third. This included him, a street lawyer.
But he’d also read that lawyers were first on the list for not being paid. “The value of services rendered greatly declines once those services have been rendered.” He thought the guy he represented this morning would sue his mother for $100. And he would also be just as quick not to pay his lawyer bill. But he had grown wiser with age. He had collected his fee in advance.
He thought to himself, “You are very cynical, Scott Bailey.”
The words that came out of his mouth during opening argument were memorized from prior cases. By rote, he went into his standard presentation.
“The plaintiff will show that the defendant had absolutely no reason to breach the contract. My client did nothing to provoke such a breach, and in fact did everything possible to fulfill his end of the agreement, even when he knew that the defendant was in the process of breaking the contract.
“We will even show that the plaintiff was so diligent that he even brought in additional contract labor to make certain all deadlines were met. He also paid regular employees overtime wages to accomplish this.
“We will show the defendant had absolutely no justification to breach the contract, and that this breach by the defendant was the proximate cause of all the plaintiff’s losses.”
Scott sat down thinking, “I’m glad that legal gobbledegook is done.” His client leaned over and said how good his statement had been. He of course thanked him. The judge now asked if the defendant also had an opening statement.
Scott thought, “Of course he does, Judge. You know trials can be won or lost in opening statements, by planting thoughts in the jury’s mind early, whether those thoughts are fact or fiction. The rule of first impression can set up and control the whole day.”
The other attorney rose and began speaking. “Yes we do, your honor. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury! We disagree totally with Mr. Bailey’ assessment of the facts of this case…”
Scott thought, “You better, you idiot. It’s your job.”
Continuing he said, “First of all the defendant will show that it was the plaintiff who originally breached the contract by not complying with paragraph 7 of the contract. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .”
Scott was zoned out. He didn’t hear a word the man said. He knew he was in for a fairly long opening argument. The judge had given 20 minutes each for opening statements. Scott had only used about 7 minutes of his allotted time. He believed in brevity, and not being boring, especially starting out in a case.
But he was sure this guy would use all 20 minutes.
He remembered the cliché about lawyers: “Deny everything, admit nothing, and talk by the hour.”
Heck, it would be to his advantage if he bored the jury. But he knew what this opposing lawyer was going to say even before he said it. He knew what he himself would say if he were representing the defendant, instead of the plaintiff like he was.
He remembered the words of Abraham Lincoln: “He is no lawyer who cannot argue both sides of a case.” He loved Abe. He was one of his favorite historical figures.
He knew he could argue either side of this case equally well.
But he also knew he had a piece of evidence that would sow the case up in the jury’s mind when they heard it. He wasn’t worried.
As the man continued to drone on, his voice seemed to get further and further away in Scott’s mind. His mind races off in other directions, thinking about other things.
He begins thinking how much he wants to quit this rat-race.
He begins thinking about the small town in the mountains he wants to move to. He loved Wildwood.
He daydreams about having a more simplistic lifestyle.
He also wants his music to be more of his life. He hasn’t had a lot of time for it in recent years. The busier he had gotten in law, the less time he had for his music. He still used it to relax some, but not at all like he’d done in the past.
But he thinks, “How will I ever convince Sharon of all of this? – of us moving to Wildwood? – of me slowing down, and maybe totally getting out of the business world. She is so practical minded. She is so security conscious. She loves the standard of living I’ve been able to give her. We wouldn’t have it in Wildwood.”
He thought about the four needs each and every person has, that he had worked-through, and coined himself as an attorney involved in human relations: (1) security, (2) spontaneity, (3) significance and (4) love. There were other more spiritual needs of reaching outside of yourself, but these were the big four, personally. If these four weren’t being met, at least at a 6 level on a scale of 1 to 10, there are problems in a relationship. And if those problems aren’t corrected, it can lead to separation, or even divorce. Scott had handled a lot of divorces where these needs were not being met.
First there is security, certainty, confidence and consistency in that relationship. The person must feel secure. If there is threat of divorce, or constant fights, or adultery, that relationship isn’t very secure.
Second is spontaneity. Scott thought, “This is what I’m after. I want more freedom in life, and more liberty to do what I want to do, and be tied to all this legal stuff everyday.”
Third is significance. We all need a good dosage of self-worth, honor and respect from others. We want to be appreciated.
Fourth is love. Scott knew that love should be first, and this is where so many people fall lower than they should. But he also knew that security, spontaneity and significance were where most people lived.
Those three must be met before love could truly be met. This is where people truly connect and understand each other, communicate deeply, accept each other for who they are, and forgive them for not being more.
He also again begins thinking about the lines of his song. He thinks about it often, and the impact it has had on him. That song speaks to him more and more about life. Many of those lines applied to him.
“Becoming slaves in all dimensions while striving hard to be set free.”
This described him to a ‘T.’
And what about ‘selfish justice.’ That seemed to be all anyone wanted, which was simply a fantasy people wanted fulfilled because they wanted to control everyone and everything around them.
The law seemed to produce so much selfishness. Everything in law was such a mind game.
His thoughts were suddenly interrupted. He was brought back to reality by the very stern voice of the judge.
“Mr. Bailey!!! Hello, is anybody home?”
Everyone in the courtroom was laughing at him, except for his client who was looking at him strangely.
Apparently the judge had been trying to get his attention.
He was being told to begin his case. The other lawyer had finished his opening argument, and he hadn’t heard a word of it.
Scott said, “I’m sorry, your honor. I was just thinking . . .”
The judge interrupted him: “Mr. Bailey, this court doesn’t really care what you were thinking! Or should I say what you were fantasizing about?”
This brought laughter from everyone in the courtroom.
“I asked you to call your first witness. I mean, you DO have witnesses in this case, don’t you? Or did you think you could merely win the case on the merits of your inspiring opening argument?”
The judge was playing this for all he could, and he was making everyone laugh, and thus connect with him better. He was getting as much mileage out of it as he could, at Scott’s expense.
Scott laughs too. What else could he do?
He wouldn’t look at his client, but he could tell that he had some questions for him. He thought that he’d better win his case or he’d have a lot to answer for if he lost.
He said, “Yes, your honor. I am prepared to call my first witness. I would like to call Mr. Tyson to be sworn. Mr. Tyson is the plaintiff’s bookkeeper.”
The day had gone well.
Despite the earlier incident with his wandering thoughts, everything was playing out as he had expected. He knew he had regained his credibility with the jury, and had been in total control as he presented his case.
The jury all liked him, a lot more than opposing counsel – except for the little squatty guy in the back row on the end. He’d have to do something to try to bring him around, and get him on his team. He worked at it, but he wasn’t sure if he succeeded. He wondered if he didn’t need a jury consultant to help handle him, and he briefly thought about the T.V. show he watched about the jury consultant.
In these type cases you don’t have long to get to know your perspective jurors, so he wasn’t sure exactly how to phrase his questions, and what he said, to impact the man’s expectations, and win him over.
At about 4:00 o’clock he rested his case, and the defense lawyer had begun presenting his case. But the court adjourned at 5:00 o’clock, and the case would resume at 9:00 o’clock the next morning.
He knew the defendant’s case would be finished about 11:00 o’clock, and then after closing arguments everything would be turned over to the jury by lunchtime. They would be finished by mid-afternoon.
It was all so predictable. Even the verdict was most often predictable.
Scott walked two blocks from the courthouse to The Whole Person.
The Whole Person was a bar he liked, and he went there a lot when he was at this courthouse.
He would stop to unwind, and have a couple glasses of wine before going home to Sharon and the kids.
He remembered how he sang in bars and nightclubs in his law-practice building days. It had been the way he’d built his practice fast. Scott had sung in this bar a few nights, simply because he knew Stan so well, who owned the place. Stan was also the bartender. He knew Stan was making a decent living, but he wasn’t making such a good living that he could hire enough staff. So he worked, as well as owning and managing the place.
But Scott hadn’t sung here much because it was just a small place that only sat about 50 people. It was actually kind of plain, although it had a lot of legal-type things, pictures, and sayings on the wall. Being so close to the courthouse, it catered to a lot of lawyers and judges. It wasn’t fancy by any means, but it was like ‘a home away from home’ for many people, including judges and attorneys.
Another report he read said that lawyers – and judges – tended to indulge in alcoholic beverages more than most professions. The report hadn’t said why, but he imagined it was due to the stress. There were so many rules and regulations, laws and statutes you had to follow. Hell, even the legal procedures were complex – and they often differed somewhat from courtroom to courtroom.
It could all be rather stressful.
Most of the places he had played at during in his law-practice building days sat 100 to 200 people. Plus they were much better clubs for him to get exposure than The Whole Person was.
But The Whole Person was his favorite place to go.
He thought about his life over 10 years before. He had begun building his law practice by singing in nightclubs at night – and passing out business cards at the breaks. He often quipped, “What better place to meet people who needed an attorney?”
He had been offered a couple jobs with law firms after finishing law school, and passing the bar exam. But they had been very low salary starting off, and he knew you were expected to work 60-70 hours a week.
So he’d decided to go it solo – both in law and singing.
And it was true. Bars and nightclubs tend to attract people with more problems. They often tried to drink their sorrows away. Many of them needed a lawyer for something.
Scott was very likeable. So, within about a six month period, he had all the business he could handle, thanks to a newspaper article that was written about him.
There were two city newspapers in Denver, Colorado at the time: The Denver Post and The Rocky Mountain News. They got wind of what he was doing, and apparently found it newsworthy enough that a lawyer was also playing in nightclubs at night, as well as practicing law.
They had done a half-page article complete with a picture of him playing guitar and singing.
They had dubbed him, “The Singing Attorney,” and “The Court Jester.”
Scott always put a lot of humor into what he did – usually taking potshots at lawyers and judges, which everyone seemed to enjoy. People especially seemed to enjoy his humor because they knew he was an insider in the law – he wasn’t an outsider taking pot-shots.
The titles the newspapers gave him were not too noble, but they served a purpose: a lot of people heard about him and came in to listen to him sing. When it came to being humorous, and making people laugh at lawyers and judges, anything was ‘free game’ to him, even politics. But then weren’t most elected politicians, and appointed officials actually lawyers by profession?
Lawyers were involved in everything it seemed.
Scott often shared that lawyers had drafted ‘The Internal Revenue Code,’ where the average sentence is over 100 words. The longest contained 506 words. One sentence had 59 words – before the first comma!
A judge had once said the IRS code was so incomprehensible it should be declared unconstitutional.
And thinking about laws, a Supreme Court Justice had said in a speech: “America now has 10,000,000 laws to enforce The Ten Commandments.”
He remembered that comedian Bob Hope, who was deceased at this time. Bob had said he wouldn’t run for the office of President of the United States, although many encouraged him to do so.
He said there were two reasons for this. First, he said he didn’t want to know that many lawyers. Second, he said his wife wasn’t willing to move to a smaller house.
Entering The Whole Person, Scott sat at the bar, which was his custom. The place was fairly busy, mostly with other attorneys and judges, all of whom he knew. But there were a few other people he didn’t know.
He greeted a few folks, in a friendly and cheerful way.
Then plopped down in the bar stool on the end, which Stan tried to reserve for him if he knew he was coming in. He and Stan communicated, and liked each other a lot, even though Stan was about 10 years older.
Stan had laid out a newspaper in this spot so it looked like it was occupied, so no one else would sit there.
He began looking at the newspaper, and Stan brought him his usual wine.
“Why the long face, Scott?”
“I don’t know, Stan. I’m just doing a lot of soul-searching right now.”
“You have been for quite awhile. That’s nothing new. Tell me something I don’t know.”
“Yea, it’s true. But I’m just not sure I want to be a lawyer anymore, even after spending all this time going to school, and then building a fairly good law practice . . .”
Stan had to go take care of a customer.
He comes back over and Scott continues like he hadn’t even left: “I feel like the guy who said, ’I don’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up, --
but I don’t think this was it’!”
Stan laughed at him, and Scott laughs at his own joke. Stan and Scott often exchanged puns about lawyers. After all, well over half of Stan’s customers were lawyers and judges. He said, “Remember the words of Winston Churchill: ‘Lawyers have a way of saying things that are vague – but in all reality, meaningless’.”
They both laugh at Stan’s pun.
Scott looked at a sign that Scott had hanging behind the bar that got a lot of comments from people. “The meaning of ‘nolo contender’ is seen in a defendant lawyers’ statement to the court: “Judge, my client didn’t do it! And he promises to never do it again!”
That statement pretty-well summed up Stan’s pun.
Most of his customers knew that Stan had started out in law school, but didn’t finish. His dad died, and he had to help take care of his mom, who was disabled. She died five years later, but those five years had been a very trying time in his life. She had developed Alzheimer’s late in her life, and by the time she died, she hardly knew that Stan was her son. To her, he was just a nice man who took care of her, and that she lived with.
He remained totally dedicated to his mom until she died. Scott really respected that about him.
Stan never returned to law. He often said he was probably better off.
When Stan returns, Scott reads him a statement in the newspaper that is open in front of him: “No poet, and no artist, ever interpreted nature as freely as a lawyer does truth.”
“That sums things up in a nutshell! This is the way lawyers are viewed by the public, as people with no morals… no values… no backbone. In fact, we’re often viewed as though we crawled out from under a rock.”
Stan shrugs his shoulders, not wanting to agree, and also not wanting to continue the puns. The puns were fun, but they quickly got stale. Then he turns to get someone a drink who had just walked in.
Coming back Stan says, “Man, I remember the nights you sang in here. Folks loved you. You were so excited about your legal career. Wow… when those newspaper articles about you broke, you were gassed: ‘The Singing Attorney’ – ‘The Court Jester’. These gave you even more latitude for your legal jokes and puns.
“Plus, those articles helped you laugh all the way to the bank. I sure remember those nights, Scott! I know you do too!”
“Yea, of course I do. Those were good times. They only lasted about six to eight months, until I got too busy in my law practice. But they were really, really good times.”
Scott had wanted to be a singer then. And he wanted to be a singer now. Nothing had changed in over 10 years.
But like Sharon said, singers didn’t make much money, unless they got into the big time, and that was really hard to do. He knew the score. What she said was true. Maybe one in 5,000 made it. He knew he could earn a whole lot more being a lawyer.
He again thought about the first human need: security. Sharon needed security, and he knew it. And it was his job to provide this security for her. He knew our job here was to meet each-others’ needs. And this was especially true in close relationships like marriage. He knew he had to provide security for his wife.
But he also knew his heart just wasn’t in being a lawyer.
Scott looked at Stan without saying anything for a moment.
Then he continued his thoughts. “In those days I was alive. Life had purpose and direction. Today it seems like I’m just drifting – tossed around by every wave of the sea.”
Scott gets up, pays Stan, and prepares to leave. “Well, I need to get home to Sharon and the kids. She’ll have dinner ready. Thanks for listening to all my complaining, Stan. I appreciate you. You’re a good friend. I’ll call next week when I know I’m going to be back.”
“Right, Scott. Tell Sharon ‘Hi’ for me.”
Scott leaves the bar, and just wants to walk around the block for a few minutes. He wants to collect his thoughts. He kicks a couple of rocks. He runs his hand along a metal fence outside the office building of another lawyer.
His thoughts reverted back to the song he wrote that he had been thinking about half of the day: ’America: Searching For Reality.” Once again, they come into central focus in his thoughts. He silently plays the song to himself in his head.
Land of pride and plenty!
People rushing to nowhere
Idle time beyond compare
Ignoring others in despair
Searching for some certainty.
People hear yet seldom listen
Others look but cannot see
Competing in the wrong directions
Acting out facsimiles.
People full yet always hungry
Reaching out but seldom touching
Outward laughing inward crying
Avoiding our Gethsemane.
Land of opportunity!
Money is our hidden treasure
Wealth becomes the standard measure
As we seek our fleeting pleasures
Pride without humility.
Great concern but no compassion
Fighting hard for selfish justice
Becoming slaves in all dimensions
While striving hard to be set free
Seeking answers while avoiding issues
Learning facts but never knowing
Seeking knowledge, seldom wisdom
Land of milk and honey!
Many songs yet few have meaning
Voices filled with empty chatter
Noise abounds but peace is fleeting
Clanging like calliopes.
Countless children yet few fathers
Many houses yet few homes
Many plans for great tomorrows
While today remains a mystery.
Many smiles but shallow greetings
Religious people with no true God
Many Christians without Christ
Searching for reality.
Scott gets back to his car, gets in and drives toward home.
He’s got a lot on his mind, and he doesn’t want to keep it bottled up. He wants to share it with Sharon.
He knows that she knows he’s unhappy, and he’s been sharing a little bit with her. But he knows he hasn’t been telling her the depths of his heart. It isn’t fair to her to keep her in the dark.
He knows he hasn’t been entire honest with her in sharing with her his need for spontaneity in his life – for freedom to do what he wanted to do.
His primary need was spontaneity, and hers was security. Of course they both needed significance and love from each other. He knew most people who were in close relationships were very different, and that they didn’t have the same needs.
The reason he had coined the 4 basic human needs was because he knew he needed to help his clients see some of their issues, especially in divorce cases. He remembered the client he had had the first five to six years in his law career. The guy had come into him for one divorce – and then for a second.
When he came in for his third divorce from his third wife in five-six years, Scott had tried to talk to him about what might be causing all of his marital conflict. The man had said to him point-blank: “Scott, I want a divorce, not a lecture.”
He remembered this episode quite clearly, and knew it had helped him develop the 4 human needs he now shared with people quite regularly. He knew he wasn’t a psychologist, but he also knew lawyers dealt a whole lot with human nature, and with everyday situations that they were so involved in personally they couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. And if they saw the light, they thought it was an on-coming train.
Scott definitely had a lot on his mind driving home.