Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Rant

I have been told that I am a very opinionated person, which is not always a good trait, especially for a pastor's wife but I am working on it. I keep pushing it down and seasoning my words with grace, but from time to time it bubbles up and I say what's on my mind.

 I recently saw a young mother trying to push a baby stroller while holding on to two cups of Tim Horton's coffee. She was off balance to begin with: she had an oversize purse over one shoulder and a back pack diaper bag on her back. The hot coffees were dangerously close to her child's head as she steered the stroller with one hand which also held a coffee. When it came time for her to cross the street, she placed one coffee cup in her mouth and held it with her teeth to free up her hand to get a better grip on the stroller. If this story alarms you by reading it, you can just imagine how I felt seeing it first hand. Her coffee was more important than her precious child's safety.

I could probably chalk this incident up to just a young mother not showing very much wisdom and let it go but unfortunately this is becoming the norm. Our society is obsessed with self gratification. We put our desires above everything else. We give in to what makes us feel good to the exclusion of all else. This woman wanted a coffee and just because she couldn't safely balance two coffees as well as a stroller didn't stop her from having what she wanted.

We live in a different world than the one in which I grew up and I miss that world sometimes. We use to drink coffee at home or in a restaurant after a meal. We'd never even dream of brewing a pot of coffee and take our china mug to work with us or out shopping or wherever our day seemed to take us. And we survived. We lived. We flourished and we did it all without having a Tim Horton's cup glued to our hand. Amazing. Please don't think that I am picking on coffee drinking or even Tim Horton's. I'm not. I am picking on, if you will, our obsessions.

When my husband and I were dating we loved being able to go to a restaurant together and talk and laugh together. We'd hold hands and sometimes share a dessert. We were dating and we were in love. I recently was at a restaurant again with my husband and while the two of us old daters were still enjoying each other's company there was a young couple who came into the restaurant and sat at a table near us. As soon as this couple were seated each brought out their cell phone and proceeded to text. They didn't talk to each other, they just sat there texting. Oh, once in a while they would look up and say some small thing to their 'date' but they were actually having a date with the person they were texting. When their meal came they did put away their phones but as soon as their plates were taken away they were back at it again. That's sad. Here we were old married people of 27 years still enjoying dating and there was a young couple at the beginning of their relationship and not connecting with each other at all. Maybe they would have had they been texting each other. I don't know.

A friend of mine shared a quote today which said "Putting away your phone and paying attention to those talking to you? There's an app for that it's called RESPECT." I like that. I'd like to have a t-shirt printed with those words and wear it everywhere. Well, maybe that's going too far, but I'm ranting. I understand that cell phones are a great help, especially to those who are traveling. I even understand enjoying the convenience of having a cell phone, although I don't have one. I'm not knocking cell phones or even people who use them. I am knocking our society's obsession with them. They're glued to their hands along with their Tim's cups.

It seems that every week or so a new feature for cell phones is being invented. It truly is amazing what you can do from a cell phone. They can do just about everything for us except brush our teeth. I know, that's going too far. But they are amazing. But with all that they can do and be for us, we are becoming more and more isolated as a society. The art of conversation is becoming a lost art. You think not? Just listen closely when someone talks out loud in text. Yikes! Our obsessions are changing the way we think and live, the way we interact with others and even our relationships.

Many churches have had to request that kids don't have their cell phones turned on during Sunday School. Good grief! Do people actually have to be told to do this?? Yes, they do. In our church we had a situation where girls were sitting in an 8x10 Sunday School classroom and texting each other across the table while the teacher was attempting to teach a class. In theaters, before each movie, patrons are reminded to turn off their cell phones and refrain from texting during the movie 'for the viewing enjoyment of all.' It seems crazy that people need to be told this, but in our world they do.

Cell phones are suppose to be tools to be used by us. They were never meant to control us....were they? We all know that coffee is addictive, yes it is, it's been proven. Some say that Tim Horton's adds extra caffeine to their coffee to make us even more addicted. I don't know about that. I think that it's not the coffee that has people addicted as much as the social aspect of having 'a Tim's' in your hand.

If you think that my rant is unfounded let me encourage you to put your cell phone down and take a look, a good look, at the world around you and you will see what I mean. Count how many people you see in the run of a day holding a coffee cup or their cell phone and maybe even both.

That's my rant. It's over. I feel better, ha ha. I hope you have a great day free from obsessions.

PS My friend Kevin Carr sent me this idea that he has done with his group of friends whenever they go out to eat. I really liked it and thought it went with 'my rant'. I hope you like it too.

Introducing a new game called:

"Don't Be Anti-Social During Meals With Friends."

Everyone puts their phones in the middle of the table. Whoever cracks first by touching 

their phone, pays for the entire meal.

The purpose of the game was to get everyone off their phones, away from twitter, 

facebook, texting, etc and to encourage conversations. In other words, help cure the "Anti-

Social Social Media Craziness."


1) The game starts after everyone sits down.

2) Everybody places their phone in the middle of the table.

3) The first person to touch their phone loses the game.

4) Loser of the game pays the bill for everyone's meal.

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