Saturday, February 18, 2017

Dial it Back

Rushing to get things done, regardless of whether the tasks are great or small, can cause unintended results. In a prior post, I mentioned that the manufacturers of the chocolate we buy glue the bag shut like they’re protecting pure gold. Being impatient, I’ve attacked the bag in a way that caused my family members to ask, “Why!?” This week, after ripping open the bag, I mumbled about how my family would probably blame me. Then, I laughed aloud. They ought to blame me since it was my fault. Don’t be surprised when impatience leads to outcomes like this:


 If impatience leads to harassment, prepare for retaliation. That’s how this guy earned himself a bill. His frustration was avoidable. The sooner we step outside of ourselves, and see others in the broader picture, the better. After considering the bigger picture, what hasty decision do you want to revisit?    

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Cold Weather Wishes Unleashed

One of our kids said, “I want a blizzard.” It sounded like an odd request since this is the child who’s not a fan of cold weather. Eventually, I realized that “blizzard” referred to Blizzard, so the statement was about ice cream, not weather. Of course, the request couldn’t have triggered a weather event, but we still received several inches of snow during this week’s storm. We’re often surprised when requests are granted. Watch these responses:  


 What a wonderful program. We could make the world fifty shades brighter by copying this idea. Experts say we bless ourselves when we look beyond personal wants and   help others instead. Carrying that spirit forward, what’s your one wish for the country today?  

Sunday, February 5, 2017

You Wanna Know

After mentioning the story of Pocahontas, one of our kids noticed a similarity to the Romeo and Juliet tale in which a couple from different backgrounds unite despite protests from their friends and family. In response to the insight, I said, “Well, look at you, knowing things.” Our child replied, “Dang it! I don’t want to know things,” partly joking and partly in protest of finishing the evening's stack of homework.

Of course, “knowing things” has brought us this far. We learned from successes and avoided the mistakes of people, examples, and stories around us. Listen to the sorrow of not knowing:


Think of all the rich traditions and experiences that disappear when old stories stay trapped inside, never passed along. Growing up, we’ve benefited from the knowledge and guidance of parents, grandparents, older family members, mentors, and teachers. At this point in life, where do you turn for advice?       

Saturday, January 28, 2017

No News is Good News

They say no news is good news, and that’s often true. I usually don’t hear from our kids while they’re at school, but one of them called home one afternoon. Imagine my surprise when a calm voice said, “Hi. My school is on fire.” After some explanation, I discovered that everyone had been safely evacuated, and in fact, the school wasn’t on fire. The smoke originated from something near the school. Crisis averted. Life returned to normal as the students marched back inside.

It’s a good I could receive that call. Accessibility for emergencies is good, but non-stop accessibility is not. We’re constantly connecting to people and digesting news feeds through our electronics. Regularly disconnecting from it all allows us to find our happy place. Maybe yours looks like this:    


It’s hard to tell who enjoyed the situation more—the shoveler or the spectator. If you’ve found a different kind of happy place, how do you get there?


Saturday, January 21, 2017

In the Name of Change

 It feels like change is in the air. You know it’s true when you see toys upgraded. One of our kids brought home a Bop-It that comes complete with a host of new instructions like, “drink it,” “comb it,” and a little extra sass. The latest Easy Bake oven, celebrating fifty years, looks ultra-modern, comes in assorted colors like white, purple, or black and bakes WITHOUT a light bulb. When did the bulb disappear? Even Monopoly made the news when the manufacturers decided to change the player pieces and solicited ideas for new pieces from the games’ fans. How will we survive without the car, the shoe, or the thimble? Although long-time Bop-It players, bakers, and pretend real estate tycoons may question the changes, they needn’t worry. Watch how our perceptions mislead us:


Today’s toys look different, but companies stick with the essentials, the rules remain the same. Bop-It still gets bopped, food still slides through the Easy Bake oven, and players still buy properties in Monopoly. Before reacting to things we see or hear, it pays to focus on our own fundamental essentials. Regardless of any changes surrounding you, what do you plan to continue doing?  


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Saturday, January 14, 2017

May We All Know

We’ve been naughty. During the past several months, I’m certain we’ve discarded  enough plastic water bottles to build an additional room on our house. Barring the instability and lack of privacy, imagine how pretty it would look with the sun reflecting through the plastic walls. I don’t know who thought of bottling and selling water, but they’re earning a fortune and creating an environmental mess. Check out the creative clean-up:    


This guy’s taking proverbial lemons and making lemonade, going above and beyond what you would think you could do with a water bottle. Still, despite the awesome ways  people can minimize the impact of plastic bottle on the environment, we need to reduce their usage. The end doesn’t always justify the means. What have you done that ended well, yet in hindsight, you know you shouldn’t have “gone there” in the first place?

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Big Clean-Up

Is everybody sick? Not mentally, I mean physically. I know of at least six people who are either getting, suffering, or recovering from cold symptoms. Several factors contribute to the rise in illnesses. First, the weather is iffy. One moment it’s sixty degrees, and an hour later it’s forty degrees. That’s not a fun situation when we’re caught outside without the appropriate outerwear. Second, warmer temperatures help germs to linger, giving us more time to be infected. Third, the back-to-back holiday celebrations brought guests  together, facilitating the spread of germs. Check out these unwanted guests:

Nothing like a strong visual image to encourage cleanliness. Doesn’t that video make you want to wash your hands, cough into your arm, and carry around a pint of hand sanitizer gel? We know whatever lurks on our hands can lead to illnesses, but so can worry, stress, depression, hate, and unforgiveness. So how do we cleanse our hearts and minds?