Friday, November 30, 2018

JUST STOP!



STOP!

Can we just stop arguing?
It seems that wherever you go today,
someone is arguing with somebody.
Husbands and wives.
Parents and children.
Parents and teachers and coaches.
Political parties.
Neighbors and friends.
Populations. Entire countries.
Members of congregations.

Aren't all the people on your Facebook page
"YOUR FRIENDS"?

Can't we agree on anything?
Or simply agree to disagree?

As Americans, we love our freedom. We have rights.
Why are we suddenly so critical?

Is there no other point of view except our own?

It breaks my heart to see so many families who argue to the point of estrangement. How is it possible for parents to cut off their own children? Or kids to completely remove their parents from their lives. What could possibly be that important?

There's more than enough hate in the world.
Can't we spread a little love this Christmas?

Smile. Slow down. Sing. Hug.
Don't blow your horn.
Add a nice comment or don't write anything at all.
Give someone a compliment. You'll never know how much your words of encouragement might mean to a person. It might even save their life.
Each one of us has worries, fears, and troubles.
Let's make life a little easier for people.
Never make it harder.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Going Viral Part II




To be noticed on social media today, everything you do must be epic. No longer can a boy simply ask a girl to the prom. He must plan, coordinate and film the invitation for thousands of viewers to watch.  Shared and re-shared. On PCs. Laptops. Cellphones. iPads. News Stations. YouTube.
 
The prom is just the beginning. Marriage proposals are getting wildly dangerous and expensive. Talk about pressure! Now the groom's sincerity and depth of dedication are judged by his degree of creativity when he pops the question. A public proposal puts him at risk for a broken heart and humiliation.


It's no longer the moments of our lives that are meaningful. It's how the moment is played out and received by family, friends, and strangers across the Internet. We no longer feel with our hearts or see others souls. We record. Edit. Share. Does the couple spend the rest of the evening holding hands and slow dancing to 'their song' after she says "yes'? Do they look into each other's eyes and talk about their future together? Or do they rush home to put his proposal out on YouTube and keep checking to see how many hits they have? How is that living?

Gone are the days when military kids longed for their parents to come home from a tour of duty. Now they plan 'surprise' returns. Soldiers jump out of a cardboard box or wear a costume. Can't we just be happy they came home? 

What does this teach our kids? They're growing up in a world that demands socialization but offers nothing but isolation. Children spend so little time playing outdoors with friends. They don't talk. They text. They don't hang out. They FaceTime. They squander hours competing in video games with kids in other countries but never meet their own next door neighbors. 

In today's society, everyone is your 'friend.' Even those you never met. Don't like their political views or choice for Best Movie? 'Unfriend' them. Poof. They're gone. We can find the girl who sat next to us in kindergarten, yet never visit the old man across the street who hasn't had a visitor since his wife died last year. 


Hundreds of people die every year while taking 'selfies' to impress the masses. Do they stop to admire the view when they climb to the top of a mountain? Do they think about God and creation? The sheer beauty and wonder of it all? 


And if they were moved to give thanks... would we later see them kneeling, head back, eyes closed, arms spread in silent awe? Sure. If they use it as their new Facebook Profile Pic. 


Monday, October 22, 2018

Going Viral





There's no doubt that social media has affected every part of our lives. At what cost? Is our quality of life improved or dampened?

Past generations waited until the birth of a baby to find out if it was a boy or girl. Now... we throw 'Reveal Parties'. Epic celebrations where each expectant couple hopes to outdo every other parent. 
One couple actually started a wildfire in an area suffering from a drought. The explosives they used to spray out colored confetti accidentally shot hot embers into the woods. It costs the taxpayers millions of dollars and destroyed an entire forest to make their announcement.

 
Adoptions for older kids are now going viral as parents and future siblings 'break the news' to the newest family member in various, creative ways. Now the color s pink or blue and the way they were presented become more important than the birth of the child. The creation and growth of a family. 
Will kids feel less loved if their parents don't announce adoptions in some fantastic way? Have we allowed the internet to become a measuring stick of parental anticipation, excitement, and love?

We complain our privacy is sold to companies but we eagerly share every private moment with strangers across the globe. We are the main characters in the open books of our lives. Ordinary people are aspiring to become internet celebrities. Overnight sensations. Living for 'likes','shares' and yearning to go 'viral'.



Friday, October 19, 2018

The Jackpot

Tonight's Mega Millions Lottery is worth 
ONE BILLION DOLLARS
Incredible. Exciting. But in a way... disturbing.

If we as a people could pool our money together to create a jackpot worth a billion dollars, why can't we collect the same amount of money to cure cancer?

It was so easy. We all cooperated and followed the rules. We didn't complain or try to get out of it. We even had to get up off the couch or stop on the way home from work to go and purchase a ticket. Every family, in every state. Rich or poor. All faiths and without a single political crack.

We'll make time in our busy schedules to check the numbers or even tune in to watch the drawing, to see if we win.

Why? Are we willing to spend our hard earned money and make an effort as long as there's a chance, no matter how slim, that we might live the rest of our lives in luxury? 

But would we spend the same amount of money, 
or expend as much energy to save someone's life? 

A family member or a child. A neighbor or a co-worker. Even a stranger on the street. Would it then be too expensive? Find ourselves too busy? 


I just can't understand how we can chip in and collect a billion dollars in a short time, without complaint for a contest, but not do the same to eradicate the biggest, deadliest disease in the world.

Why not? Why don't we do it? Why is it even a question? And if people read this, will they demand it? Form long lines to donate? Make a special stop to get there? 

If it's all about the prize... is there any better prize than a cure for cancer?

Not in my book.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Are We Friends?

It's been fourteen years since we've led lives without Facebook. I can't remember what it was like without it. Facebook has deepened my present relationships and revived old ones. In just a few minutes, I can see what every single friend is up to, hoping to do and already done. There are pictures of them and their families. I can see what kind of movies, music, and recipes they enjoy. I'm right there when they get any kind of news, good or bad, and can offer words of encouragement, praise, prayers, and congratulations.

 I can't help but wonder if all this knowledge is... unhealthy. I now worry about more things and people than I ever did before. Are John and Cathy drinking too much? They're having cocktails in every picture. What if Nicole can't sell her house? Is Sara giving up writing? Jackie works too much. I hope Rose does well in school. Jude is going to miss her grandson so much. Rupal will make such a good mother someday. I can't believe Ken and Barbie broke up.  Sharon's still in pain after her surgery. Bonnie is having strange dreams. I see Jeanette's mother doesn't like what she's wearing in one of her videos. Rita graduated and got a new job. We'll miss her. Theresa got married? Let me see what he looks like... Amy's baby is adorable. Cathy and Ray are going to Disneyworld. Lori's pregnant! 

OMG! If my daughter leaves that picture of herself up there, I'll have to kill her.

The hours creep by. I'm still reading. FaceBook is addicting.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Reach Out and Type Someone





We have reached a time when communication is so simple we can reach out and touch someone on the other side of the world from the comfort of the recliners in our own living rooms. No need to buy a ticket, drive a car, find a companion, get directions, take off from work or get a babysitter. 

Our devices memorize and remember important dates. Times. Appointments and occassions. Phone numbers. Addresses. Passwords. Account numbers.

We needn't leave home to send mom flowers or renew a prescription. Why walk the aisles of a supermarket when you can shop from home and have them delivered?

Why fly? It's so much easier and cheaper to skype a visit. You can attend your grandson's birthday party via 'live' video. Almost like you're really there. Connect with family, friends, and classmates you haven't seen since you were a child.

From classrooms to board meetings all you really need is a laptop. We can be on the scene of every breaking news story anywhere in the world. Do all your banking and pay your bills without entering the buildings.

'Alexa' or 'Siri' can answer all your questions. Libraries and encyclopedias are obsolete.

Your appliances can turn themselves on and off. You can see who's ringing your doorbell from the office. Watch the kids get home from school. Unlock the door for them. See where your teenager is hanging out. 

When was the last time you had to stop for directions? Who doesn't have a GPS? Tell the radio to play your favorite tunes. Ask the TV what's on tonight. Do all your Christmas shopping in twenty minutes at 2am. 

Make your doctor appointments online. Review your labs and reports. Check your own blood pressure and EKG. Have your DNA analyzed. Skype a visit to your psychologist.

Check out your neighbors and the guy you met on a dating site. Photoshop your pictures. Virtual Tours can walk you through a property, vacation destination or The Eight Wonders of the World. 

Our books are read to us. We don't call. We text. We don't write letters. We Email. Where's the personal touch? Eye contact? The sound of a voice? The holding of a hand. The scientifically proven benefit of a hug? The all encompassing thrill and magic of a kiss? Doesn't matter if that kiss is healing a boo-boo or a causing a young girl to fall in love.

There is very little you can't do on your cell phone or computer. What can't be done today will be possible by tomorrow. Virtual reality. Experience life without actually living it.

Fascinating. Terrifying. A blessing. A curse. The chance to reach every destination and goal without traveling the road or doing the work. We'll have thousands of people in our circle without knowing a single one. 

Yes. The ever-increasing ability to communicate with each other will eventually make us the loneliest people in the world.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

HE Who Laughs Last...

I recently wrote what I thought was a lighthearted and humorous piece on the trials and tribulations of womanhood as compared to manhood. But fair is fair and I think the men should get equal billing. So here is another very funny piece (Warning: not to be taken seriously). For the record, I laughed almost as hard reading this one as I did reading the 'letter to Tide' that I featured yesterday. 

I must prepare you though. The following letter is very male chauvinistic and somewhat demeaning to women in general (especially middle-aged housewives), but the Tide letter wasn't exactly what you’d call 'man-friendly' either. Again, I have no idea who the author is, or I would gladly give him credit. 

A wealthy man and his wife were having dinner at a very fine restaurant when an absolutely stunning young woman came over to their table, bent down and gave the husband a big, long kiss. She smiled and told him that she would see him later and walked away.
The wife glared at her husband. "Who was THAT?” she snarled.  "Oh", replied the husband," that was my mistress."
"That's the last straw!”, the wife shouted. "I’m going to call a lawyer!  I want a divorce!"
"I can understand that", the husband replied, "but remember… if you divorce me, there will be no more shopping trips to Paris, no more wintering in Barbados, no more summers in Tuscany, no BMW in the garage and no membership at the yacht club. But the decision is yours."
Just then a mutual friend entered the restaurant with a gorgeous woman on his arm.
"Who's that woman with Marcus?" asked the wife.
"That's HIS mistress" answered her husband.

"Ours is prettier" she replied.

Now… before anyone even attempts to psychoanalyze me… let’s get a few things straight.  I am your average heavily middle-aged, middle-class, kinda over-weight, married, menopausal American woman living in New Jersey. 

Does that make me… cynical? You betcha.
Sarcastic?  Absolutely. Crazy? No doubt. Tired? Deservedly so. Psychotic? No.  

But just in case I offended anyone, let me take a stab at political correctness:

1) I do not think the subject of infidelity is a laughing matter (I didn’t think it was funny when it happened to me. I don’t now, and I doubt very much that I ever will).
2) I don't have anything against rich people or their lavish lifestyles  (Both Bob and I have every hope that we too, will be wealthy someday). 
3) I don’t think it’s easy being the ‘other woman’ OR the wife. Or the husband, the kid, the dog or the cat for that matter (not that cats mean less to me than dogs. The sentence just sounded better using the word 'dog' first).
4) I’m not bitter and I don’t think that men cheat on women more often than women cheat on them (just that women usually come up with better reasons (excuses) than men. Not that men couldn't do just as well if they applied themselves. Not that there is EVER a good reason (excuse) for anyone to cheat in the first place. And not that men never apply themselves. I have personally known several men who always strived to apply themselves at every opportunity).
5) I don't hate men, and I do enjoy being a woman.  I still feel sexy, and hopefully, I always will.
6) While it is true I don't like getting older, I'm not depressed about it (please note that I have nothing against BEING depressed. I have nothing against older people. I’m in training to be one myself).
7) I’m not insecure and I have never insisted, expected or needed Bob to tell me that I’m beautiful, nor does he feel obligated to do so (which isn’t meant to indicate that I look down on people who ARE insecure).
8) I always, ALWAYS look for the humor in everything (but I have nothing against people who don’t).
9) I can be serious when I need to be (but I don’t criticize people who can’t).
10) MOST IMPORTANT: This joke applies to everyone over age 18. Man or woman. Republican or Democrat. For or Against Trump. 

There.  I think I’ve covered just about everything.   If I were any more politically correct I'd be running for President and I don't think this country is ready for THAT... Just in case— I'm Lisa Brooks and I approved this entry.