Archive for February, 2007

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Busy Can Become Stupid

February 27, 2007

I am trying desperately to figure out this article from the Sacramento newspaper, and its implications for our society. Here is a clip to get a flavor of it:

A 28-year-old Chico man was killed Monday after he lost control of his car while working on his laptop computer while driving, according to the California Highway Patrol.

“We have reason to believe he was operating his laptop because it was still on and plugged into the cigarette lighter,” said CHP Cmdr. Scott Silsbee.

Shortly after 8:35 a.m., the CHP received a report of a head-on crash on Highway 99 south of Yuba City between O’Banion Road and Highway 113.

In the past, I have read of people reading the newspaper while driving, changing their clothes, and even practicing their violin on the way to a rehearsal. I have personally witnessed people putting on eye makeup, text-messaging on cell phones, and disappearing altogether from the driver side going “who knows where”.

But what does all of this mean? One part of our culture calls this multi-tasking, meaning that all of these functions can, and should, be performed at the same time. Last week, we witnessed someone almost get into an accident lighting a cigarette and my father-in-law said he felt that should be outlawed: smoking in a car. Though few would agree with FIL, many people are currently debating which tasks should be allowed while we drive. Which would we allow a pilot to do while flying? Which would we allow a surgeon to do while surgering (or is that ‘surging’?)?

The busyness of our lives has pushed us to the breaking point. And I mean that as someone caught up in the rush (somewhat). Next week, I will be presenting a seminar on how to bring some sanity back into our busy lives. After the seminar is completed I will post some of the ideas here. But what do you think…what causes sane people to do some of the things that are being tried in cars these days? Is it a sign of the times?

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This is how Bill Gates Became So Rich

February 21, 2007

Many things that Bill Gates does are commendable and ought to be lionized by most writers and analysts. But this article suggests that his greatest achievements may have to do with the children he is raising. Read this about his attitudes toward how his own children use the Internet.

To summarize, his 10-year old daughter is only allowed on 45 minutes a day and his younger son is not allowed on at all. When his son asked him if he would have restrictions on the Internet all his life, his answer was “no, some day you will move out and then you can do as you like”.

This guy impresses me more than most people. Yes, he is the richest man in the world, but he is giving over half his wealth away and now he shows that he raises his kids with wisdom. No wonder he has handled his business and money so expertly.

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Can Evolution Handle This?

February 8, 2007

It looks like Calvin Klein is replacing the Kama Sutra in the hearts of many women. Look at this recent survey reported by Reuters yesterday. It claims that the majority of women prefer new clothes to sex with their partners.

According to the study,

Women on average say they would be willing to give up sex for 15 months for a closet full of new apparel, with 2 percent ready to abstain from sex for three years in exchange for new duds, according to a new survey of about 1,000 women in 10 U.S. cities.

Sixty-one percent of women polled said it would be worse to lose their favorite article of clothing than give up sex for a month.

“Some people say clothes make the man, but the right clothes can even replace him,” fashion designer, said stylist and TV personality Carson Kressley”

Men, apparently we are doing something wrong if a nice pair of Pradas holds more attraction than our bristling abs. I mean, if we had bristling abs. What on earth is Evolution coming to? How will there be the survival of the fittest if the fittest are preferring a fitting to a flirtation? I guess we can assume that the minority of women who prefer sex to clothing may actually be the fittest and therefore they obviously will be the ones to reproduce and carry on the species.

Or it could mean that men need to sharpen their appeal. Just in time for Valentine’s day. Who knew that what she really wanted was a Coach purse more than a coach ride up Blueberry Hill?

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What are We Coming To?

February 6, 2007

Recently, I experienced two things that remind me of the self-absorbed way we can act toward one another. In this case, both infractions of human decency happened to me, but they could have been perpetrated by me and could happen to anyone. That is the way of it; we are all capable of the same ugliness we see in others.

So as not to embarrass or alert those who did these things to how much they ripped me up inside, I will disguise and generalize the stories. But they are completely true.

One person decided to send me a letter by registered mail. This man is an old acquaintance from many years ago and we have shared good times and bad, both in our lives and the lives of our children. In his letter, he spoke about a favor he asked me to do for him several months ago. This was a reasonable favor and I did as he asked with great delight. In the note to me, he upbraided me for not taking the time to find out the details of how he wanted this favor performed. In other words, he was angry because I didn’t do exactly what he wanted – even though he never really told me what he expected. He then proceeded to tell several friends how much he was unhappy with my “lack of effort” on his behalf. He threatened to end his friendship with me unless I apologized and let it be known to our friends how awful I had treated him.

I did tell him how sad I was that he was angry. However, I had done nothing to apologize for, and I do not make things up to help others feel better. That is the essence of living a lie.

The second happening was much different than the first. I do not know this person well, they’re just a friend of a friend. We were at the same house at the same time last week. While there, this person’s daughter became violently ill with the stomach flu and threw up on one of my family members. I did not witness this happen, but when I came in to help clean up the mess, her family would not allow me. They called me a day later and yelled at me, asking me why I had to make the little girl “feel so bad about her accident”. As far as I recall, no one (myself included) said anything at all other than to ask how she was feeling. I thought all of us showed remarkable restraint considering that it is flu season here.

These two situations are examples of thoughtless, selfish behavior. If I spend hours of mental energy, I could probably piece together the thought patterns that lead these people to react this way. But I can’t be bothered to spend that much time on something that is not my problem. I have released both hurts completely and I could look both people in the eye right now without any qualms. But what am I supposed to learn from God about this?

Here are three things I have gleaned from these less than wonderful experiences:

1. People can literally get offended about anything, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t prevent everyone from getting upset with me…nor should I waste my energy trying to prevent these sort of offenses.

2. I should possibly ask myself every time I am offended by the actions of another if anyone in this world would see it from my perspective. If they really couldn’t, I should abstain from bringing it to anyone’s attention. I should just get over it.

3. Notwithstanding lesson #2, the next person who acts like a jackass for my sake had better expect to have it pointed out to them;

Y’all duly warned.

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