It always struck me as more of a female thing, and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, just seemed that women would take pictures of themselves on the beach and they’d be showing off their toes—I never blamed them, I’m sure a pedicure is expensive. I’d want to show it off too. But no, I was wrong, it’s men too, taking pictures of the view they’re looking at, the vista, and they can’t get their feet out of the way!
This blog started out in a different place. I walked out of the grocery store yesterday to find three shopping carts, all at the point where they can’t go any further because of their wheels stopping, left in such a way to block the exit. For the walk back to my apartment I had the title “Ending Stupid” going through my head. People have to stop behaving like idiots, that’s the way the world will really change. That should be the World’s New Year’s Resolution.
Which of course, I’m right. 😉 But what I’ve decided has really got to change is me. Because all my thoughts and frustrations about the way I believe these people are being insensitive, rude, obnoxious and doing nothing about raising the level of care, concern and courtesy in our society, which again, I’m right, is still doing more damage to me than it is to anyone. All it does is curl me up in more of a negative ball of friction, disappointment and anger.
I’m a big fan of cognitive behavioral therapy and in particular rational emotive behavioral therapy (http://rebt.org) and one of its tenets is that it’s not the things that come at us that bother us but what we think of them. So my New Year’s resolution is to master the art of REBT. Instead of getting mad at these “cart pushers” that aren’t even there, I’m going to push one out of the way so the next person isn’t inconvenienced, until the person from the store tasked with retrieving them does their job.
When a person who is walking one of those little rat dogs on a retractable leash but fails to reel it in so that I have to stop or walk out of the dog’s way, I’m going to take the two seconds to step around because it’s much better than the greater number of my blood pressure possibly rising to.
When I see a misleading or idiotic headline on a website I’m going to write something positive or funny to counteract the misinformation and negativity in our society’s eyes and ears instead of letting it upset me.
I’m only able to change my world. And everyone does not have to act the way I want them to, that’s just not the way things work. So I have to learn to change my thinking. In a way this is a resolution that I’m continuing because I was very inspired (and wrote about here) by Amy Poehler making a comment about how our eyes and ears are hearing too much garbage and we need to hear better things. It’s made me re-work blogs that started out angry and turning them (hopefully) into something funny or meaningful. I’m going to try and do that faster in my one life and in my own head so that I don’t waste any precious time, thought or energy on something that I can’t change and is only hurting me. I want more positive and happy thoughts outweighing the negative this year. And I’m gonna do it, I CAN AND I WILL.
At least until i become king and can have little foot soldiers running around with little devices to give these cart pushers and dog owners a little zap to get them to re-think.
It’s been hard to write a comedy blog the last couple of weeks. I just keep seeing so many terrible, terrible stories in the news. Senseless shootings and global warming and just… everything. I keep thinking of one of Steve Martin’s old routines where he talked about putting a slice of bologna into each of his shoes so he’d feel funny before he went on stage.
But I don’t think I could take the smell of bologna anymore, although I do long for a time where I loved bologna and white bread and maybe that’s why I keep singing the Oscar Mayer song “My Bologna has a first name…” It would just be great to be a kid and not look at the news and not care about anything else other than when I was going to get ice cream again.
Only that’s the problem. This is happening to kids. There’s kids in school who have to grieve for their friends. It’s tougher as we get older and relatives pass away, but these kids have lost the kid they had lunch with yesterday. That’s messed up.
What are we doing? Where do we have to start to get people not to lose their mind. I think we have to start young. Always seemed a shame to me that so much is expected of kids at a younger age in school. I think maybe they need more play time, or naps, and not so much computer time.
Or maybe we just need to send them to school with bologna in their shoes.
We’ve all seen the funny texts where auto-correct has changed someone’s word and it was sent before they could catch it. I’ve laughed. It’s happened to me. But in the last week I’ve seen several things that are leading me to believe that we need to start catching this now. All we need, America, is another strike against us that affects our employability.
Take for instance an individual that I had a business correspondence with just today. They told me that they didn’t want to “waste their time” but it came out as “waist.” Ok, funny ha ha honest mistake. But the thing is, it was business. And he or she did not bother to proof-read and they didn’t get corrected. We’re becoming a bunch of lazy slobs that expect to be spell-checked.
Back when I was in high school we didn’t have personal computers (that’s what a PC is for anyone under the age of thirty) and calculators weren’t aloud in school. No, this is not about how we had it more difficult and had to walk to school in the snow and how you kids blah blah blah blah blah. We just weren’t allowed to use calculators on tests because they wanted us to use our heads. And as ridiculous as it seemed at the time to me, and they did end up changing the rules, I’m glad. I like being aware!
I didn’t get it because I was actually good at math and I am still the guy that gets handed the restaurant check to figure out who owes how much and how much tip. I don’t know why they do it because my math is flawed in that situation because I always want to tip on hotness of the waitress and want them to tell her instead of my asking her out. What can I say, I still have the nerd shy kid in me.
I can also spell and am fairly good at grammar, although my critiques in writing groups are a bloody mess of corrections in the battlefield that is tenses for me. So I may not be sympathetic enough here, but I do also think I have a point. Just like calculator and later laptops and later iPads in the math classroom, auto-correct and spell check on everything has left us bereft of another basic skill that’s going to land more and more jobs in the outsourced inbox.
Now I can’t speak about other countries, maybe it’s happening there too, but it’s rampant here. Take a classic case of how many people use “ur” in their text messages and emails. That has just multiplied in exponential numbers the people that were already screwing up Your and You’re.
So fellow bloggers and followers that are obviously reading and using the Internet to read this, let’s start with us. I’ve made a vow to do a better job of proof-reading my blogs. For you bloggers, in case you didn’t know, there’s a little Preview button next to the Save Draft. Use it, your blog opens in another window and you can see it as it appears to all your peeps.
And all of you fine people I’m lucky enough to count as followers, type out “are you home.” It will increase your hand-eye coordination and may burn off a couple of more calories—we really do need to do more about this obesity thing.
But one movement at a time! Join Me. Ashton Kutcher says that smart is sexy and he’s got to be right—he’s tall. Like I said, I like being aware. And that’s what using your head does. The more you pay attention to the simplest of things the more you’ll pay attention to the big beautiful things. Let’s get America smarter!