Sunday, December 9, 2018

High Hopes in the Dark

If you’ve lived in your house for several years, then you’re confident about circumventing tables and chairs in the dark. Eventually, when our confidence outgrows our skill, we lose our bearings and bump into things. In the dark, we think we’re headed in the right direction, but sooner or later we learn otherwise. Listen to what these folks did once they lost their bearings:

When darkness falls and we don’t know which way to turn, who we call depends on who we think will provide help. Initially, it seemed like the folks in the video were prank- calling for help, and it sounded like help might not arrive. Their complaints about a baby and mosquitoes saved them from an uncomfortable evening under the stars. Who do you call when you’re feeling lost and/or in the dark, and how much convincing do you need to give before you’re convinced help will arrive?

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Taste and See

A survey determined that people prefer a sweeter versus a less sweet cornbread. We love sugar. If we’re not eating candy, we’re consuming sugar in breads, meats, vegetables, and in other foods you wouldn’t expect. Here’s one reason why people love including sugar in their cooking:

If you crave sugar, you’ll be happy to find it in many of your favorite store-bought and home-cooked foods. Burger King’s advertising convinced us that we can have it our way and we’re too willing to alter food to suit our sweet tooth. Unfortunately, what we want is not always what we need, and too much of a good thing jeopardizes our well-being. What situation contradicted your initial thoughts, but now you realize it’s in your best interests?      

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Who's Watching 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:


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 and about, do you believe someone's watching you?   

Reprinted and revised from 2014    

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Natural Storms

The authorities sounded a warning alarm about a potential storm. Even as weather people tracked the tornado moving from town to town, it felt hard to believe a tornado would touch down here. So we didn’t prepare by moving to the basement or following any of the precautions the weather people suggested. Instead we watched TV and waited. The tornado touch down deadline came and went and nothing happened—this time. We can ignore some warnings while others demand our immediate attention. Check out this attention-grabber:   

No one wants to be caught unprepared in a storm. Weather-related surprises only cause stress and anxiety. Once the weatherperson warns us days in advance about an impending storm, we have time to think about how to react and which safety precautions we need to take. Unfortunately, some of life’s storms happen overnight when we least expect them. What actions can you take now to deal with life’s storms?               

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Shouting Inside

Car dealers think we’ll purchase vehicles based on the match between a car’s attributes and the image we want to reflect. After choosing a vehicle, we’ll decorate it with bumper stickers that highlight particular aspects of our personality, or our likes and dislikes.

On Wednesday, I spotted an interesting bumper sticker. The white van’s back window sticker read: You’re just jealous because the voices are talking to me. Some statements seem funny at first, but after living long enough, even the most innocent comments cause us to pause. Let’s not lose our sense of humor. Here’s someone not taking themselves too seriously:

Even if that message made you smile, someone somewhere is flooring the gas pedal or cutting another driver off. A lot of people are struggling to overcome their hostilities, how do you do it? 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

To Fall or Fly

The calendar tells the story of a new season’s arrival. We feel it in our bones with the falling temperatures and brisk winds. Before long, we’ll admire colorful bursts of red and orange leaves while sipping hot chocolate or tea. We’ll exchange flip flops and bathing suits for boots, hats, scarves, and coats in anticipation of what comes next. Wait. Before jumping to ahead to winter, let’s pause to crunch the leaves, savor fall’s natural beauty, and hang on to the moment. It might feel like this: 

Given those conditions, they better hold on to something solid before they’re blown away. The wind plays a one-sided tug-o-war game and it’s close to winning. A slightly stronger blast will send someone flying. If you feel like unseen hands tug at your life, pulling you in directions you don’t want to go, who or what would you put on the other side of that struggle? 

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Perfectly Safe

Some people keep a tissue conveniently tucked inside their sleeve like they perform magic tricks. I thought about the tendency this week after feeling a little scratch on my wrist. I pulled up my sleeve and a—wait for it—moth fell out onto the floor. Shocking. How? When? Why?

I didn’t know whether to laugh or head to the medicine cabinet for antiseptic. I did both. In the normal course of a day, you never know how things will shake out. Who would’ve expected this:


This could be the ultimate magic trick, except it’s not magic. Instead of uncovering unexpected things from beneath our clothing, here’s an example of an extraordinary outer covering that should save lives. In the middle of a crisis, what do you rely on, pull out, or turn to keep you safe?