Saturday, January 24, 2015

I’m Wrong? You’re Wrong!

I overheard someone say, “The color yellow makes me sad.” Yellow? Sad? Really? Bright, sunny colors like yellow, red, and orange are supposed to cheer us up. I thought brown, black, and gray were the designated “sad” colors. The more I read, the more I see how two people can look at the same situation and arrive at two different conclusions.

Have you ever read the comments section below an online article? Let’s imagine an article about a second grade class studying rainbows in school. One commenter might celebrate rainbows and how children should be exposed to science in all its beautiful forms. The next commenter does a complete reverse. They’ll state that rainbows are trivial and irrelevant, and since they disappear quickly, studying rainbows could lead to depression in young students. Sure it sounds far-fetched, but I’ve read some unbelievable comments. Consider these perspectives:      
                                          http://youtu.be/1K5SycZjGhI

So should we name blocks or streets? Who’s right and who’s wrong? If you can convince anyone to agree with you, it probably won’t be because you stood on the opposite side of the street engaging in name-calling. For some reason, people act like that strategy wins arguments. I doubt it. Which cultural debate have you been trying to win? State your case.          
 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

(Not) A Walk in the Park


When did Alaska get so popular? Cable TV airs several shows featuring the state and its newest residents who, by moving there, prove they don’t always need neighbors or indoor restrooms. While we complain about polar vortexes and single digit temperatures, they’re fine with sub-zero weather. If it’s a cold wilderness you want, Alaska’s the place to go. Alaskan winters are tough, but people tolerate them for the freedom and solitude of peaceful living. Life in the wilderness isn’t for everyone, but for resilient folks, it’s perfect. Here's someone's version of paradise:
                                         http://youtu.be/HVE2BdypnTI

The gentleman makes living alone in Alaska look easy.  Once the trend catches on and hordes of people abandon their busy lifestyles for an isolated log cabin, you’ll see shows like “Buying North Dakota and ”Buying Wyoming.” If summer breezes give you goose bumps, you probably won’t relocate to Alaska. But when you want a bit of solitude, where do you go?       

Saturday, January 10, 2015

It’s Super Natural


Anything not nurtured is unlikely to grow. For instance, consider the little tree in our yard that’s been the same size for years. In winter, it stands there battling the ice and snow. In the summer, somehow it endures the sun’s scorching heat. When a brown group of leaves emerge, I expect the tree to dry up and die, but the brown leaves fall off and the tree remains. It’s  either a dwarf tree or a miracle tree. Of course, I prefer to call it a miracle tree because it survives every challenge the weather brings. Here’s another survivor:
http://youtu.be/PztJkvChtOo
 
The video seemed to show a miracle, but the hiker gave a scientific explanation for every aspect of the amazing scene. Typically, we assume that whatever science can explain isn’t a miracle. Is that always true? People will accept a scientific theory until the next theory trumps the last one, so maybe science doesn’t have the final say about everything. What do you say? What miracles have you experienced?   

   

Friday, January 2, 2015

Greater is Coming


Did you leave behind unfinished business in 2014? Maybe the year began with promise and plans of a new job, a new relationship, with starting a new hobby or establishing a good habit, and somewhere along the way things stalled.
If 2014 didn’t end the way you expected, perhaps you were knocking on the wrong doors in the first place. It’s similar to when our cat explores the house. She’ll stand and meow at a closed door until we finally open it. You’d think she’d be pleased about being able to walk through it but no, she looks into the room and decides that it’s not where she wanted to go after all. Before we know it, she’s pursuing a whole new adventure.

The point is if you’re waiting on doors that haven’t opened up, don’t be too quick to run through those doors when they do open. Maybe a closed door was to give you time to think   about adopting better plans. Interesting things can happen when you don’t look before you leap:

                                         http://youtu.be/aIdIjMa4Z54   

If last year’s circumstances felt uncomfortable, maybe it’s time to stop, regroup, and make a new plan. By keeping your eye on the big picture, you can begin again. What’s your greater plan for this year?                            

Friday, December 26, 2014

I See You

Who thought we’d see the day when drones would deliver packages and police the border? Drones are a hot topic right now. Some people believe drones represent technological progress, helping to protect us and the country. On the other hand, drones can be used to spy on and exploit innocent folks. In any case, there’s a lot of discussion around these incredible contraptions. Have a listen:

                                          http://youtu.be/pL0T5pdCz94

Much like the Internet, the legal system is racing to figure out how to regulate the use of drones. Of course, some proactive folks have stepped out ahead of the laws and simply shot drones down. They’re threatened by drone activity and see them as an invasion of privacy. Do drones represent the evolution of a police state? When you’re out running errands, how do you feel about someone watching where you’re going and what you’re doing?       

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Live Encounter


Who doesn’t love Christmas lights? Part of the holiday tradition involves admiring the lights while driving through town. There are a couple of amazing displays in our area. One of them, located in a nearby town, is huge. It probably takes weeks to set up, and includes traffic directors, communication gadgets, and even a port-a-potty. You can imagine the amount of work involved in decorating that property. It’s an incredible sight, but a different Christmas light display grabbed my attention this year.

The display engulfs a modest house that sits several yards from the edge of a busy road. When I first saw the house in the evening, it looked like every part of the property glowed with bright blue lights. As I drove past the house, all of the colors switched from white, then to another color. Imagine a whole property full of colored light flashing as you pass by. The intensity of the light against the darkness made me nervous. I felt like there were silent bombs exploding alongside the road. I wonder what their neighbors think about living next door to silent light bombs. Once the holiday season starts, there’s no telling what your neighbors will do. Don’t we all need a special kind of humor to get through the month? Have a look:   
                                              http://youtu.be/5Az3BmTkhAA

Anyone who lives next door to a light show needs that decoration. I appreciate the big light displays, but I bet many of us would vote for simplicity. What if we picked from an upbeat collection of Christmas words to decorate our homes? What word would you choose?       

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Have Your Way?


What’s going on with our strawberries? They used to be triangle-shaped with cute points at the bottom. Now, for some reason, they’re oblong. Either the oblong shape is a different variety, or  weather and growing conditions altered the strawberry’s shape, or somebody has cross-pollinated seeds to yield a damage-resistant berry. In any case, a strawberry is still a great treat, unless the final product is sour and unappetizing. Listen to how far we’re willing to go to enjoy the fruits of life:
                                          http://youtu.be/Tn4149d7Rpk

I support the advice regarding education and full transparency, that’s always a good idea. But the end doesn’t always justify the means. How far should we push to achieve our goals? How far are you willing to go to get what you want?