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Monthly Archives: December 2009

Random Thoughts

  1. Why are we (as Americans) obsessed with fake hair, teeth, eyelashes and breasts?  Are we (men) driving women to do such things?  Is Hollywood driving men and women to spend money on such things?  Are we trying to sequester aging? 
  2. My heart aches for the Woods family – especially, for the kids.  And I guess I understand why sponsors are dropping Tiger from their line up to promote their products.  I suppose such indiscretions bring shame on the sponsor’s name and product.  Yet, I wonder do these sponsors realize that every ‘human face’ of their products has hidden crap?  Some are found out (like Tiger); others do well to hide their mess or indiscretions.  Are these sponsors looking for a squeaky clean or perfect person to promote their products?  If so, who exactly fits that bill?  I am in no way trying to condone Tiger’s infidelity because adultery wreaks havoc widely.  But are sponsors (and the public) actually encouraging high-profile people like Tiger (Bill Clinton, Jonathan Edwards, etc.) to commit hypocrisy?  Are we allowing these broken people the freedom to parade their broken-ness in public or do we force broken people to pretend they have it ‘all together’ when they really don’t?

 

Texting and driving

I remember attending a seminar on guarding one’s time at work.  On the top of the list was managing emails because if not managed well, answering and responding to email can consume most of one’s work day.  I recall vividly what the presenter said: “remember the ‘e’ in email does not mean emergency but rather electronic.”  That saying has served me well to this day (although many emailers expect their emails to be treated as an emergency and answered quickly).    Yet, I wonder if texting has a hidden “emergency” associated with it.  Why do I ask?  We (motorists) have been warned of the dangers of texting and driving, however, I see many still texting and driving (including yours truly).  Do we try to return a text while driving because it is like a person to person conversation?  In conversations there is little dead space; rather, two or more people are engaged and exchanging words back and forth.  Is this why we text and drive because it would be awkward and rude not to exchange words back and forth in a person to person conversation?

In the Time, December 7, 2009 issue, Joe Klein writes, “the media are giving Obama grief for just about everything.”  Bingo!  In black and white, Klein communicates what I have been thinking for a while now.  Yet, I refrained to write this post because I did not want some to say, “He is just saying that because he is an African-American and Obama is an African-American.”  Well, those who know me well would hopefully quip, “he is not that shallow.”  In fact, before the election, I told all African-American audience to make sure to be an informed voter; don’t be a sentimental voter.  In other words, I told this group, “it would be irresponsible to vote for Obama just because he is black.”  (Someone later asked, “Is Luke a republican?”  Isn’t that interesting? Just because I encouraged a group of African-Americans to be informed and discerning voters, I was thought to be a republican.  Wow!)   Obama has not been in office a year and he has been criticized relentlessly.  I can’t remember – were former presidents lambasted like this early in their presidency?  Perhaps the media and others should adopt  Klein’s “long term” stance.  Klein writes “…it is way too early to make pronouncement on Obama’s fate…it is a long game, which will yield results, or not, over time” (p. 29).  I certainly adopt this notion too.  I see it this way – a presidency is like a good marriage; a good marriage does not happen over night but it morphs over the long term.

I learn from many people.  My wife teaches me.  My colleagues and professors teach me.  My students teach me.  My daughter teaches me – she offers me tips on teaching and motivating my college students.  My 15-year old son taught me a lesson recently.   He is a freshman in high school.  The good news is that he made the cut – he’s on the freshmen basketball team.  The bad news is that he is a third stringer.  As a father who has watched his son excel in basketball, football and baseball, it is difficult to see him ‘riding the bench.’  (I rode the bench as a third string freshman high school football player but I deserved it.  I was no athlete.  My heart and head were not in the game.)  The talent on my son’s basketball team is very good at this level.  At his position (guard), the team is very deep.  I believe there are 3 guys ahead of him.  My son will get to start in four “B games” but in the mean time he is keeping player stats, etc.  For me, this would be humiliating and I would probably quit the team.  However, my son said to me, “Dad, it’s okay.  The other guys are better than me.”  Wow.  Now, that is commendable.  While my pride or ego would be wounded, my son’s pride is apparently not wounded because he is okay with his ‘position’ on the team.  What a lesson!  Perhaps, the lesson here is that we need to accept who we are and be okay with that.