Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Convenience



It's Veteran's Day in 34 minutes.
I think about many soldiers...who gave up so much,
for our country.
For us.
For me.

And their families.
The moms, the wives, the sisters, the daughters.
Dads, husbands, brothers, sons.
Who wait. And worry.
And pray.

I never had to be one of those women.
Someone else did that for me.
It's a bit overwhelming when I stop to think about it.

About what others gave up.
About my own complaints.
It's amazing to me the things I find inconvenient.
When I think about what others have sacrificed.
I am profoundly sad.

Freedom.
And what do we do with it?

Look around.
See what's on TV, magazines, movies...
Or the street, the hallway, the park, the store....
Fast, easy.
Quick, convenient, satisfying.

When is the last time we had to really work for anything?
There are "Fast Cash" buttons on ATMs.
Really?
I can't be bothered to push a few buttons?
I already can't take time to get out of my car and actually talk to another person.

I worry about the influence of Facebook on my life.
Sure, it amuses me and fills my time with mindless games.
It gives an odd sense of the personal, keeping up with people I don't actually talk to.
But what worries me most is not the public way people on Facebook live their lives, but the abbreviated way they do. I do.

Facebook....and even worse, Twitter....encourages brief snapshots into our lives.
A quick status update.
"Ate a blueberry muffin."
"Bought 10 bottles of ketchup - on sale!"
"My dog did the funniest thing."

It's voyeurism, therapy and comedy all in one.

But it doesn't really encourage deeper thought. Things happen and are posted and responded to. But examination of what it all means is hard to find.

You can find a quote for any occasion, that's for sure. Just load status shuffle.
You can share your taste in jokes or music.
You can get attention with a cryptic status.
You can band together with thousands who "like" the same things you do.

But you don't have to think.
Sometimes we do.
Think, care, share, connect.

But...in 142 characters...
How often does that really happen?
1 in 10? Less?

But, boy, it's convenient.

I think today,
in honor of a Vet,
I'll do something the hard way.
Something that takes self-discipline.
Something that requires sacrifice.
That isn't easy or convenient.

It makes me sad that I will have to think hard to discover what that might be.