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modern life

The problem with social media is that it brings overwhelming information to relationships. From the news cycle to sharing images, we share without regard, not realizing that we are short circuiting our conversations. Worse is we don’t give the other side a chance to share or we deprive them of the chance to tell their story. Our collective busyness leaves us no time to listen to one another. To be present for those that are in front of us. To be fully there when we are talking to others.

She wrestled with the language until the words settled within her. It was here, in nature, where she distilled her knowledge of the woods into incantations. Nature taught her to set aside the things she did not wish to say. Before she knew it she was thinking about the hollow of the tree she had seen earlier. It brought her solace and gave her strength. She did not need to clamor to be heard. In her spells she recognized her strength. She could influence mere mortals.

Helen learned about the invisibility that came with being an older woman. Her husband relayed he had read about an old basketball star named Bill Russell who talked about the power of invisibility. He said, “Invisibility opens doors, creates opportunity, where none seemed to exist before. When we are unseen, we have an enormous advantage in moving in, doing things we wish or need to do, and in the process, to change the very dynamic of existing, seemingly closed, patterns.” She saw where she could impact others even without their knowing it. Now that’s power as she thought about it.

Quotation is attributed to Bill Russell.

I lost the battle. As I was going to pull out of my driveway this morning, one of my loving neighbors graciously stopped her car at the end of my driveway to take a phone call on her cell phone. She was in an SUV probably heading to Starbucks and not meaning to block my exit. She had her window down so I could hear her take the call. Not a big deal for me, I was still getting in my silver chariot and getting set up for my commute. Getting ready consists of making sure my coffee is situated and my radio station setting had not been jacked with after my kids drove the car the night before. All was set. Wait, I’m getting a sensor alarm that this lovely lady is still in the way. I politely tooted my horn twice, which translates to, “Move your ass, I’m trying to pull out of my driveway.” That did not work, she was engrossed in her conversation. I exited my car to diplomatically do this in person. I probably looked like I worked on a Navy carrier as a one of those Landing Signal Officers waving a flag, which in this case was my arm, basically telling her she was cleared for take-off. Or in layman’s terms, “move your ass so I can pull out.” Sheesh.

My point is this: I am already a slow driver. I am one of those people that will go just fast enough to slow you down in the left lane. I see a lot. What I see is, many people fiddling with their phones. I am also on my phone, but only at stop lights. I have standards. I am imploring the car companies to please hurry up and roll out automated driving so we can sit in our back seats and be on our phones. All of us feel this way, that is, except for those Tesla drivers, that apparently already have this.

Years ago I heard about the epidemic of vaping and Juuling teenagers. Feeling like I needed a broader view of the subject I asked my teenage daughter about it. She said, “Dad, you are not woke on the issues. Come on, lots of people are vaping or Juuling these days.” I responded, “Well I am most certainly awake, I’ve already had two cups of coffee.” Moving on. She informed me that the Juul looked like a usb stick that you suck on to get the nicotine in. Sounds delicious. I have decided that as an older man, I can kill any fad or trend out there just by taking it up. For example, if I were to walk around with a USB stick in my mouth it will immediately become uncool. Now that’s power!