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Monday, January 06, 2020

Autos, Entitlement and "The Technology Monkey"


I am a pedestrian, now retired, who has walked the last 14 years by choice from a Veterans Home to a volunteer job at the local Library. The journey is 3 miles one way. Some of my journey takes me through city traffic.

I have found myself sprawled across the hood of a car after the driver turned right without looking to a green light crosswalk while making a cell phone call. 

I have been cursed for being in the middle of the road in a clearly marked pedestrian right of way by a speeder late to work running a red light who had to brake to avoid killing me. I could recount other similar near- miss incidents, too numerous to mention. 

I drove for 36 years both in the US and abroad, and having spent 2 hours a day for years in an automobile on the D.C. Beltway, I am very familiar with the driving experience.

I saw it all in Washington; from cars driving down in the ditch avoiding traffic jams to people late for a meeting, and, stuck in traffic, running wildly around their auto, screaming at the world in general. 

During the sniper episode in D.C, I observed a man pull into a gas station, laying a high powered rifle across the top of his car while he filled up. The hammer on that 30/30 lever action was cocked. No one was going to hurt him or his chariot. 

There is a new kind of monkey these days - the technology monkey. That sucker will bury us if we don't learn to deal with him. We are so busy tending our gadgets and feeling entitled that we lose site of priorities, get wound up in minutia and end up in a meaningless zoo.  
Road rage is becoming a certifiable illness.

Perhaps we should slow down, assess what is important, savor the time we have and consider respect for others. 

It is not difficult. It can become habit forming. And it just might feel good.


Wednesday, January 01, 2020

What Can We Learn From People Who Are Different From Us?

Image: samanthaharrington
“QUORA” By Ken Larson
“I have learned that until I understand an individual’s value system I cannot assist them as a co-worker, counselor, manager or client. The only way I can achieve that end is to learn from them.
Our existence and our mental universe are driven by factors that we as individuals inherit through the gene pool, as enhanced by our experiences in life. Our innate capabilities as humans are augmented in life by that which we learn
What I learn about someone different than I may not be the same value system as I possess, but by learning from them I will be able to make distinctions between my values and theirs, consider accepting the differences without prejudice, communicate with them and move forward on common objectives.
All wars eventually result in negotiated settlements. Avoiding them by learning and negotiation in the first place is the most effective war weapon and by far the least costly in materials, debt and lives.
Effective negotiation must involve learning the other party's values, not simply the perceived threat they represent to us because we do not know them.
We would do well to learn more about those different from us before we fight.”