Over the past two decades (It’s probably been happening since the 1960’s, but I wasn’t alive then), I’ve noticed a rather intriguing transformation in how our culture evaluates personal choices. This subtle but clever trick, the equivalation of condemnation with judgment has led to a society that prizes silent acquiescence above just about anything. Expressions abound to reinforce this inaccurate understanding of assessing choices and making a determination that, indeed, there is one choice that is actually better than the other.
Examples of these expressions are found in everyday conversation. Last week, I was talking with a co-worker who was breathing heavily after ascending a two-story staircase; we began discussing fitness when another co-worker entered the room holding a jumbo, super-sized, giant gulp Coca-Cola. You know the kind: http://whyevolutionistrue.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/coke-giant-cup.jpg
Anyway, as he swallowed 150 calories of high fructose corn syrup, he winked and said,
“Hey, don’t judge me!”
In that moment, he demonstrated what this post is all about.READ MORE
It was a lot of fun, and I appreciated my friends and family for their kindness and generosity. It’s always good to feel loved.
I enjoyed receiving gifts but for this blog, I’m focusing on a possibly overlooked aspect of gifts – the perspective of the giver. The giver receives as much, and sometimes more, from the exchange. Especially when we are able to give The Perfect Gift.
We all know what it’s like to discover and give the perfect gift. When the stars align and you remember a throwaway comment from your wife from six months earlier, and you find that original Wonder Woman lunchbox that reminds her of third grade and the best teacher she ever had and…
Suffice it to say, getting the perfect gift is a very rewarding experience.
Likewise, when you don’t find the perfect gift (sweaters, neckties and the “jelly of the month club” all qualify) and whatever you gave them is returned, you feel like you should have just gotten them a gift card.READ MORE
You just read, among other things, words that define the characteristics of written language. You just read a sentence – an ordered arrangement of letters on a screen that I used to communicate. Built into sentences, paragraphs and books, words give us warnings, education, entertainment and many other expressions of human ingenuity, wit and passion. And all of those emotions and ideas are passed along from person to person, if you are one of the lucky ones. If you are literate. As members of a formerly very exclusive club, you get to experience every day a tremendous gift that was not always taken for granted.
My six-year old son has entered the stage of discovery of words and reading that is among the most delightful periods of any person’s life. As we drive around town, I hear him in the backseat, slowly pronouncing street signs, storefront displays and on occasion, an inappropriate bumper sticker.READ MORE
Yesterday, the American Medical Association (AMA) continued its steady slide of accommodation for a society bent on removing personal responsibility from its citizenry. Behavior without consequences has been the collective unspoken chant of a nation marching to its own self-indulgent, bloated demise.
I can’t wait for the next generation of “diseases”. Maybe we’ll find a way to rationalize speeding or shoplifting as a “disease”. After all, I can hear the experts say, “They can’t help themselves. We have to do a better job of educating the public (read: spend more tax dollars on inefficient programs) and we have to develop treatments (read: drugs) that help these people.”
In my second paragraph, I said for the “overwhelming majority of people” obesity is not a genetic condition or a disease.READ MORE
Persistence. Determination. Grit. Fortitude. Tenacity. “Keep on keeping on”.
These words are bandied about by motivational speakers and good-hearted teachers. They are meant to inspire and encourage, to cajole and prod workers and students in their collective pursuit of that most ethereal of platitudes: fulfilling their vision, or dream, of which they hope their life will consist.
As much as it pains me to write the following expression (I am a fastidious adherer to the notion that modern life is no different or difficult – in the important matters – than any other era), I find no other words that would be as readily accepted by the reader as this:
Now More Than Ever.
Now more than ever, our modern generation needs a healthy dose of perseverance.
I have the distinct and genuine honor of instructing college students. To say that I love this opportunity is an understatement. I believe it to be one of the greatest vocations available to mankind, and I approach it with equal measures of humility, preparation and gratitude.READ MORE