PLEASE DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO


Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is

“Does Anybody Really Know What Time It is?” original sculpture & installation by KSR

In case you haven’t noticed, the world is changing around us, and doing so as we speak. A new faster must-have gadget comes on the market hourly. I’m sick of having to learn something new every week or so.

We have a new 55 inch TV in the family room which replaced a perfectly good 50″ one. The small TV in the kitchen gave up the ghost, so we went to the store to replace it, but came home with two new TV’s. Dr. Advice is ecstatic. The big one does things we don’t even need. It has a button that says “Smart” with a picture of a little house. It connects with an HD receiver, and the DVI to the HDMI connection. It connects to your mobile phone. You can even have a Magic Remote control. I don’t know what that is. We have 4-5 remote controls we can never find when needed now. They control Blu-Ray, VHS, surround sound, receiver, and something else I can’t remember. And the ironic thing about it that we don’t really watch TV! We watch PBS and movies. We get all the important stuff from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and the lousy local rag. We suffer from information overload. I know this sounds dinosaurish, but one of the pluses of maturity is that your own collection of grey cells contains more than you will ever use in the way of information. The best thing about all of this is that none of it talks to you.

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Everyone around me seems to have the latest edition of computer, Smartphones, or whatever, and many of them talk to you. I don’t want a machine telling me what to do. My dear son-in-law was my guru and go-to guy for whatever was new in the tech world. I didn’t need a talking cellphone or computer. My current cell phone calls in and calls out. That’s all I need it to do. Two of our grandchildren, aware of his store of knowledge had a secret saying whenever things could or might go wrong, “WWUDD?” Which meant: “What would uncle Dick do?”

He was in on the birth of modern technology forty plus years ago, and knew what made them all tick inside and out. Everyone over the age of 50 needs to keep friends at least 20 years younger. Better yet, if you get stuck, call a seven year old. Several nights ago a group of intelligent 40-60 year olds, had trouble removing something from the screen of an iPhone. Our seven year old great-granddaughter took it and after one touch of her finger, she calmly handed it back and said “There ya go.” As she turned away she muttered “I can’t believe you didn’t know how to do that!” One of life’s embarrassing moments.

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Several years ago, grocery stores began offering the option of “Self-Serve” stations, so that you can slip your card in and check out your own groceries by clicking the appropriate space on the lighted screen. If you make a mistake, it throws a fit and tells you to call for help. Once that’s done, you place the already checked items on a lower platform and continue. If you place anything, even a paper bag on the platform too the machine yells loudly to get it OFF! When through checking, you click “Finish and Pay”. It refuses to move until you tell them if you brought your own bag. After you’re through it yells “Please remove your groceries!” in a frantic voice. Heck, I haven’t even had time to put my wallet back in my purse.

The annoying voice on my GPS when we take a direction she didn’t tell us to, disgustedly tells us that she is “Relocating!” Sometimes we change directions just to tick her off.

All of which says “please don’t tell me what to do”! I like to make my own mistakes and discoveries thank you. Better yet, try making things simpler like the old “on-off” button our radios used to have, and we won’t need an instruction manual for every new thing you invent each week.

BE PRESENT WHERE YOU ARE


Don’t Worry Be Happy KSR

I heard Bill Cinton interviewed the other day, and he made the statement “Be present where you are”.  When I was young I was accustomed to be where I was, because actually there was no place else to be.   Adults talked, you listened.  Often you learned information which you could use much like Saki’s cat, Tobermory did to disrupt the status quo if you were of a mischievous bent.

Today’s people, through the creations of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and others, have made it possible to sit for hours within sight of other family or friends and not utter a word.  The ubiquitous cell phone, tiny though it is, has destroyed conversation as we learned it.  I expect to see arthritic old fingers made somewhat flexible by the constant movement engendered by texting still sending silent messages well into their 80’s.

I spoke to a group of women in their 70’s and 80’s some time ago, none of which had nerve enough to use a computer, but all of whom had cell phones, and most of them opted to use texting a a means of communication.  Amazing.  I felt out of touch because I genuinely like to “be present”.  Who knows what delightful things might come to your attention by simply listening.

I shudder to think of a young couple sitting side by side cell phones in hand, just as the young man decides to “pop the question”!

I don’t know about you, but I like to look at the person I’m talking to, and honestly engage in what he is trying to tell me.   Be present where you are.

You can make more of everything but time.