Tag Archives: modern society

A Macrocosmic Perspective

I started this blog five years ago on the foundation of a simple concept. I wanted to explore the minutiae of modern life and culture by boiling down broad ideas into digestible pieces of reflection. There was the hope of starting a dialogue among those who were interested in diving into the deep stuff. I wasn’t presumptuous enough to believe I could advance any permanent, sustained change or rewire the minds of the masses, but I hoped that I could simply set a table and people would find their way to the plate.

The feedback has been both affirming and motivating. Challenging preconceptions, reframing accepted ideologies, or simply questioning the status quo has given readers a moment of pause to take a second pass at some of their unconsciously accepted viewpoints. We often don’t look at something from another angle, especially when the edges seem to neatly align with our convictions. So it’s been a pleasure to open up this incessant sandstorm of contemplation that I call my daily existence and invite you all inside for a visit.

But as of late, I have realized that exploring what hits closest to home is just as important as obsessing about what affects us on a national or global level. The bonds we have built and the connections we have made are the iron stakes that prevent our circus tents from blowing away. When all the static and distractions are silenced, we’re left standing with what truly holds weight.

Perspective is everything. Time should certainly be spent analyzing the big picture, but please don’t forget the importance of a myopic focus…especially when it comes to those who mean the most.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year.

Adolescence Interrupted

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Giving Doubt and Taking Back the Benefit

phoneThe regular ridicule I’ve gotten in my life for keeping records, taking notes, and tracking telephone interactions is all just extra paint on the big colorful canvas I call an organized existence. Jab me about my checklists and poke fun about my calendars, but the self-satisfaction I’ve gotten the last few months from flawless follow-ups to customer service representatives makes all that fun-making fade into the distance.

It’s easy to call it compulsive. Marking down the dates a letter is received or when an initial phone call is placed might seem excessive or unnecessary. But, it’s pretty effortless and it saves a mountain of frustration in the end.

My “key theory” falls into the same category. How often do people run around the house at the last minute, searching for their elusive keys, with each tick of the clock exacerbating their tardiness? If they were kept in a designated key area, there would be no reason to alert the bloodhounds to join you in the hunt or create false scenarios about bad traffic and road closures when you walk past disapproving scowls, stumbling into the morning meeting 20 minutes after donut distribution.

Preparation and order rewards those who allow them in their lives. To be reliable and informed—as opposed to a scatterbrained flake—is something to be praised, not punished.

So, back to my telephone tag/faulty case number/taciturn supervisor juggling routine. The universe happened to unload multiple situations requiring boundless patience for bottomless hold times and the kind of diligent record-keeping rarely seen outside of IRS offices. If I were Johnny Casual, I would take those people at their word, thank them for all their helpful information, and wait for those guaranteed returned phone calls and speedy case resolutions.

But, we live in a world where almost no one does what they’re supposed to do—or even makes an attempt at punctuality. These are simply the realities of our modern society, as we make the sluggish transition from humans to computers. We are wrought with growing pains and this spreading plague of unrestrained apathy isn’t making things any easier. I can’t even begin to talk about the post office. I don’t have the strength.

The best we can do is take a stand. We can strive to be as efficient and organized as a machine, thus elevating ourselves above the sluggish drones and into a space where the air is fresh and the flickering fluorescent lights aren’t melting our brains.

But, I have to admit, rattling off the names of each supervisor, the dates I called, each digit of my assigned case numbers, and the particulars of the discussions not only ironed the wrinkles of what should have been unbearable transactions, it felt damn good.

You can retain your unintelligible reminders, unwieldy paper trails, and shoebox receipt shenanigans. I’ll be here with my alphabetized file folders and a bold, almost laughable level of record-keeping confidence.