Despite major efforts of the ACBL and the club directors throughout our ACBL domain, the major complaint about our bridge populace is that as a group we are still intimidating, take ourselves and the game too seriously and at times can be downright rude. I know, you have heard it all before and you are all smiles and sweetness. It’s just those other people who can’t take a flaming fix and congratulate the opponents on their success and creativity. Let’s all make a special effort in 2009 to make friends for ourselves and friends for duplicate bridge as well. You will like yourself better and others will like you better as well.
George S. Coffin was a noted bridge expert, writer, publisher and a well respected competitor. In 1970 he wrote “Grace at the Bridge Table” for the MIT Tuesday evening bridge club. I feel whether you are religious or not, the sense of his writing is worth repeating here:
Grace at the Bridge Table
Oh Lord, grant us this session of bridge for our enlightenment and bring forth only the good from the alleged Devil’s Picture Book, the 52 pieces which thou has snatched from Hell and rendered so beneficial.
Please show us we came here not to inflate our vanity by winning but to train and salve the soul in humility and good fellowship.
May we learn from Thee, in life as in bridge, the habit and power of constructive thought, the growth of reason, the development of imagination and self control in all things that we do; also how to befriend our enemies by communication and cooperation.
Please teach us, Oh Lord, that bridge is a relaxing hobby and only a game to play for fun. Let us play now as if this were the last session on earth, yet plan as if we are going to play forever.
Blessed are the losers, for they shall inherit all the bridge games on earth. Amen
Let’s all take the sense of George’s thoughts and make bridge a better place than we found it. Tomorrow is not to early to start. Practice makes perfect.