Leave Me Alone….

 

Fully 35% of the population of the United States over 40, considers themselves lonely. I don’t know what that adds up to in millions but let’s just say the number is daunting. Many of them do not have even one person they can go to in a jam. Were we always this solitary?th.jpeg

I am reading a book by David Brooks, “The Second Mountain”. Intriguingly I have asked several people what they think of this erudite columnist for the New York Times and I get strange responses. Arch conservatives consider him a sellout. Others reason he is just another talking head. I find his insights to be provocative regardless of philosophical bent. It dawned on me how much people just tune out parts of the world. 

In his book he discerns between community and tribalism. Community is a connection based on mutual affection. Tribalism is based on mutual hatred. In our efforts to stoke individualism we close doors not open them. Basically if we only surround ourselves with like minders we keep narrowing our spheres of influence and communication. Pretty soon we can’t find anyone of our ilk or if we do the conversation becomes so stale as to not even be worthwhile. 

I remember years ago when my mom was dying. I came in from Arizona to visit her. One afternoon while she was taking a nap, I took a walk in the little village where I grew up. Let’s say there were fifty or sixty homes in the vicinity. th-7.jpegAs I traversed the South Drives and Heights Roads, I could tell you the name of every person who had lived in each house. An anecdote about that family or a particular personality cropped up continually. Could anyone do that today? 

We no longer need to write hard copy with pen and ink. We can email or text and the better the shorthand, the faster I can get this over with. Thoughts are now in acronyms. LMAO. TTFN. WTF. Emoticons take the place of prose. Everything designed for sweet and simple. No sense in wasting all that emotion. We have streamlined society. 

Today, people go weeks and months without ever having contact with another human being. Order your coffee or lunch by phone. Swipe your card. Never look up. Eye contact verboten. Linger over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine? What are you nuts? I am a busy person and so much to do.  Why waste the time? 

We don’t go to the store. Amazon Prime will soon get it to you by this afternoon after your internet order. Probably by drone so you don’t have to see the delivery person.th-12.jpeg Your taxi or bus will soon be driverless. Golf courses will equip carts with music. Why? Who wants to waste time with meaningless conversation. I can listen to a podcast between shots. That sounds of nature bullshit is way overrated. I have to be more productive in my spare time.  

We play video games instead of Monopoly or Risk. I don’t want to go to exercise class. I will get my own personal trainer. Better yet I can hop on my Peloton and become wired to someone hundreds of miles away whom I have never met, much less had a meaningful conversation with. 

The most existential question in all of this, If I don’t have to care about anyone else but me who the hell is going to eventually worry about me when I can’t? Do I have any meaning or worth? Hmmm, if I don’t, why should I go on living? Suicides have jumped 35% since 2000. Any wonder?

We don’t trust our institutions. The Church, the government, and corporate America like Boeing? If there is no God why do we need ethics? If politicians are corrupt why obey the laws? If the bottom line is more important than integrity then I better change my ways before I get left behind.

This may sound hyperbolic. I think not. The more individual we become the more estranged we are from human emotion. Empathy, pathos, charity, brotherhood, motherhood, all become collateral damage. 

I can attest to Mr.Brooks poignant observation that there is no greater wellspring of joy than when one gives of themselves. th-13.jpegWhen you have made someone’s day better by smile or a helping hand you can’t help but feel good inside. Correction. Not good but fantastic. You have made them feel worthy of consideration in our thoughtless world. 

Recently I have had a long talk with a friend who tragically lost his brother. I also had a casual acquaintance break down when for some reason he decided to tell me of a horribly dysfunctional upbringing. I had a woman in hospice who finally sobbed after being a rock for her failing husband for 6 long years. 

There is nothing special about putting yourself out there for others. We are social beings and we all need a shoulder to cry on. Our loneliness is self imposed and so unnecessary. If you are particularly feeling bad, put down all the electronics and head for Starbucks. There is someone, somewhere that just needs a friendly face or a welcoming pose. Sorry about this falderal  but get used to it.  I am just not going to leave you alone.

As always

Ted The Great 

Factoids:

One third of those from the age of 45-63 are single. You can be lonely in groups if you are unable to feel worthwhile.th-3.jpeg

Cries for help. People who become more withdrawn and unwilling to go out socially are actually screaming for help. 

Loneliness affects our heart rate, immune system and overall longevity. Today’s living environments with large apartment buildings or tract housing contribute to a sense of isolation. 

There is a Jekyll and Hyde side to technology. It makes it easier for people to anonymously say pretty nasty things. On another note the spontaneity of reaching out to an old friend has its rewards. Go figure. 

Got A Minute?…..

th.jpegIn our frenetic world, time is of the essence whether you are running for a train, appointment or a date. “Gotta go” or “gotta jump” are the bywords of our generation. Way back when the wonderful world of microcomputers began, the greatest promise of the era was how much time we were going to save. How is that working out for you? 

Since we are so pressed, one becomes more and more aware of wasted time. The classic dilemma is meetings. To start the conversation, I abhor them. To me they are a combination of opining and cover your ass(CYA). How many times have you gone into a meeting where they are looking for input? They don’t want input but they feel they owe it to the masses to be heard. Kind of give them that warm fuzzy feeling all over and they will go home happy. 

As the meeting wears on there are new and different ideas expressed. The glares from the cognoscenti after any sort of contrary thoughts  is one of disdain or sheer impatience. God forbid you have something clever to add because that makes them look like idiots for not having thought of that in the first place. Name your poison but the statistics are startling. 

In corporate America it is estimated that people spend over 40% of their time in meetings. Horrendous duplication of efforts and inclusion. We bring staff and members of the lunatic fringe to make sure everyone is there. As my mind wanders the compass points to due North in Washington,DC

Look at what we have gone through with the Mueller Investigation. I am making no decision on the efficacy of the proceedings but after all those hours of research and testimony the gang of the Left want to start the program all over again. Mueller impressed me as a pretty straightforward and methodical guy even if he was an attorney. Compare that to the rambling showboating committee hearings. 

view-of-the-house-judiciary-committee-hearings-on-whether-impeachment-cx08df.jpgThe House version can have up to 30-40 representatives each receiving an allotted time to strut their stuff. The SLR’s are clicking at lightning speed and the live feeds are the things dreams are made of. Let’s just add on two or three in staff for both the solons and the committee itself and you see why things are so screwed up. Think of the man and woman hours that are wasted. The witnesses also  have their posses and it drones on for hours. 

What was I thinking? That only happens from late Monday to early Wednesday afternoon. Gotta press the flesh you know. And yet there are over 200 committees and subcommittees of our fair mothership. Oh yes I forgot to add all that goes on at the state, county and city levels also. How about schools, churches, clubs and societies? 

Meetings done right are great. You have a well thought out agenda, you get to the point and then move on. People have tried meetings where everyone has to stand. That gets it over in a hurry. Others try snacks and pastries. That just adds to the lethargy. The point is the vast majority of us really don’t like them but somehow like other things we just accept them as a part of life. 

All of this may sound silly but there are so many hours in the day but more importantly in our lives. People get caught up in the mundane. Imagine the incredible power we have to change things for the better. What if those politicos spent the same amount of time on immigration, or infrastructure or education rather than farting around looking for more skeletons? I am not a Trumper but can’t we have a few moments of sanity?

KIDquiettime1.jpgThere should be a time for each one of us to do some deep thinking. The Catholics have retreats but they aren’t particularly in vogue right now. If you are lucky you get a paid sabbatical but that is for the chosen few. Just some time in your day or week where you sit down and just think. The phone gets turned off and you look out over the city or water or mountains and just think. Most will shrug that off as lunacy or trivial. I get it. 

Just for a brief period of time think of who you are and where you are situated in these crazy times. Think of your life and question how satisfying it is? Not in monetary terms but in soulful ones. Think of your spouse and kids and grandkids. Close friends. Really meditate on why you are here and how can you in some small way make it a better place. Got a minute? I hope so.

As always 

Ted The Great

Factoids. 

Harvard Business Review interviewed:

We surveyed 182 senior managers in a range of industries: 65% said meetings keep them from completing their own work. 71% said meetings are unproductive and inefficient. 64% said meetings come at the expense of deep thinking. 62% said meetings miss opportunities to bring the team closer together.That is truly sad. 

Saturday-Quiet-Time-Show-Image-Main_article_image.pngQuiet time does not necessarily demand meditation but if practiced, the end results are somewhat startling. Both physically and emotionally. 

You Owe Me…

It seems we have come to a watershed in many areas. The myriad of outcries about sex, race, creed, income, medical benefits, housing et al provide an interesting diorama of our society. We are not grateful. We are demanding.images-3.jpeg We all feel like somehow we are being screwed. Rich, poor, white, black and brown, gay, straight. We are equal opportunity whiners. 

Don’t get me wrong. There are injustices everywhere. Yet I hearken back to the simple words of our constitution: Life,Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Sure the Statue of Liberty says give me your poor huddled masses but is that with carte blanche entitlements? Is the American Dream a fairy tale or reality. 

First off, we want people to come here and earn their citizenship. I concur. But what did you or I do to earn ours? Was there a litmus test of sorts when we were children that said okay you pass and can move on. I go back to the Lucky Sperm Club. For all we know we could be sitting around a campfire in Namibia having this conversation instead of in cyberspace lolling in a big easy chair.

We not only take things for granted, we ever presently say that is not enough. We deserve a roof over our head but it does not have to be a mega mansion with tv’s, en suite bathrooms and closets bursting with the latest of everything. We deserve a decent meal but that does not demand haute cuisine 24/7. Clothes on our back? Yes but not designer everything. 

We were having lunch with friends the other day. They decried the state of our politics. I asked several rhetorical questions. Only 50% vote in a good year.Did you?  Representatives are constantly reelected without as much as a concrete platform or grading system to see what they have really accomplished. We couldn’t be bothered. When was the last time you went to a town hall meeting and asked substantive questions? I thought so. 

People constantly tell me they don’t want to get involved. Go for it TTG but don’t ask me to stand up and speak with you. images-8.jpegYou don’t understand they say. I am terribly busy and have so much to do. Most of all I don’t want to look bad in front of my friends. We just sit there and mutter under our breath or with the certain few we know we can trust. 

Entitlements are just that. Not! Social Security was meant for widows and orphans. Medicare was an emergency program to prevent people from falling through the cracks. Colleges can work on the community level as well as the Ivies. Toll roads were everywhere and meant to be self supporting. We have grown inexorably as a country but have we grown up as citizens?

We have lotteries in all but 4 states. They are supposed to be good clean fun. Yet the market is the poor who see this as their only way to an impossible dream. Casinos proliferate and are patronized by the same downtrodden masses. We now have marijuana shops on every corner. Bitcoin? Another ruse akin to tulips. 

Our world is non stop fantasy. Clothes, cruises, cars, entertainment, booze and drugs are meant to take us away from our miserable existences. Not only does my life suck but you are to blame.You have made all these things unattainable unless I am rich. Ordinary just doesn’t cut it as a way of life. So what is the answer? Give me. Give me. Give me. 

You know the stupid part is that in so many ways we were more than comfortable before all this started. Homes, cars and clothes were functional and just a tad fashionable. We made up our own games as kids and did not need the latest game controller. We played pick up baseball and did not need uniforms and umpires. Dad drank Schaefer beer and ice cream was treat once a week rather than a nightly staple. 

I am not an old fart and I love nice things. But ask yourself a question.  If you didn’t have all this would you really die? Could you figure out a way to exist? How much is necessity and how much is pure fluff? Would your life be ruined and not as a teenager but as an adult? Is it really that bad? 

It seems to me that we as a country and a world have become spoiled brats.images.jpeg Think of true poverty and how bad off some people really are. It is blatantly obvious to me that you don’t owe me but I owe someone else in a very big way. Kind of interesting to think about that. Ya think?

As always

Ted The Great

Factoids:

Our basic instincts of survival cause us to want to stay alive and thrive. We are threatened and respond. We seek protection for our selves and our families. It’s natural.

We are all hypocrites. I feel your pain but I am really glad I don’t have any. Sorry you lost but then again I won. It’s natural. 

When faced with a choice, we immediately will choose the easy one. It’s naturally what we want to do. We always want everything to be easier in our life. Easy feels good. Easy feels relaxing. Easy is stress free. It’s natural

Life is not fair or unfair. We contrive a vision of what we think life should be and judge ourselves accordingly.  It’s natural. images-7.jpeg

Going Nuts In La La Land….

 

I successfully navigated my presentation on Global Migration last Monday. More than 100 denizens of Harbour Ridge politely listened to TTG and by all accounts I was a tad more than presentable. At least nobody threw anything.

images.jpegKathy asked me what was next and I have been cogitating about that all week. But there is nagging voice in my head. I started to recreate my talk for you but in truth it was far too wordy. I have been frustrated by my inability to come up with a pithy solution to migration. Maybe like many of you. 

Migration has gone on for millennia. It is a force of nature. A wall, short of putting out 10,000 volts upon touching, is not going to stop anyone. in my humble estimation, bringing new people to our shores should not be curtailed . It is what keeps us vibrant, creative and in may cases alive. God forbid that we admit we need help in everything from the sciences to cutting our lawns.

Yuval Harari in his book “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” puts it best in his chapter on immigration. First we must decide are we going to let people in ? If we vote yes then is it a privilege we are bestowing or a moral right open to all? Antis will claim we are being invaded and we have worked hard to make our country what it is. You can’t just come in here and screw it up. 

Fair enough but are we all willing to look the other way when it comes to cleaning our houses, serving our restaurants and making construction projects more affordable? We want to have our cake and eat it too. Okay, you can bus tables but does that mean I have to educate you and take care of you if you are sick? Interesting question.

Secondly, if I do let you in, then you should have to play by my rules. You have a responsibility to assimilate. That is not as obsequious as it may sound. We have some sort of identity as Americans even though I am hard pressed to define what it is. imagesYou cannot have Sharia Law in your neighborhood. You should learn the language. You should work to fit in no matter how hard we make it. More on that later. 

Lastly we have to decide how long am I going to give you to meet some sort of standards? Five years? A generation? Please don’t forget the Little Italies, Germantowns and Chinatowns we have not only endured but embraced. They did not happen overnight. 

Living in Harbour Ridge or Palm Desert or Denver is not all that different. We as a nation have created habitats over many generations. Cities, neighborhoods and parishes. And the pure and simple truth is we don’t like outsiders and we don’t want change. We reminisce about the good old days and yearn for Ozzie and Harriet or some other look alike to move in next door. Sorry kids, those days are gone. 

Give me that old time religion? How many of us go to church? Muslims scare the crap out of us. Anyone named Muhammed has to be wearing a suicide belt. What is that lady under the hijab looking at? What really goes on inside those mosques? They eat funny food even though we wolf down sushi, Thai food and and Indian cuisine is not exactly from the Navajos. . 

We abhor new things but our world and our tastes have completely turned over since the sixties and seventies. We just have never paid attention to it. Remember when Swanson TV dinners were an acceptable cuisine? Point being? Change is good as long as it is gradual. If you don’t believe we have made changes for the better in food, medicine, transportation et al, then enjoy your own little part of the world. The rest of us have to move on in some sort of sane way. 

The point about transitions happening at a moderate pace should not be looked at askance. The left wants it tomorrow. The right never wants it. Their extreme positions although terribly popular today are untenable. We wind up getting nowhere. I don’t know about you but nowhere is not my desired destination. 

Migration is a microcosm of our world. To get it right we have to be deliberative, compromising and above all cognizant of our fellow man or woman. Yes, we should reach out to the people that need it but we can’t run over those that are already here. I guess this winner take all attitude or high ground positions are what is making me Nuts in La La Land.

What if these burrs in our saddles became itches we have to scratch? Not to be ignored but worthy of thought. Can’t we take entitlements, healthcare, infrastructure, and education in the same vein. Maybe that is naive on my part but I am not willing to let it go just yet. How about you? Have you quit in disgust or arrogance or is there room for negotiation somewhere? I hope so.

As always 

Ted The Great

Factoids:

We have 15 million illegals in the country. 3/4 of them are here by overstaying visas not sneaking across the border. A majority have been here over 10 years. Can we deport all of them or should we just look the other way?

The southern border is 2000 miles long.181026-border-wall-ew-212p_78529e537eb99a58988c3cce50f6ef97.fit-760w We have secured 650 miles of it. If you drew a straight line from San Diego to Cleveland, Ohio that would come in at 2000 miles. Should we build, man and maintain that distance for years to come?

People come here for a better life and  that translates into work. There is a system called EVerify which if used by companies in our country would make it impossible for an illegal to get a job. UnknownCorporate America loves the cheap labor to increase bottom lines. The ACLU thinks it is an invasion of privacy. Lovely!

As the result of a 1952 convention that we as a nation signed off on an asylum seeker has a RIGHT to come to our door and ask for refuge. We have the RIGHT to say no. They have the RIGHT to appeal.That is the law!  We have 825,000 asylum seekers waiting to be heard by 394 judges. Most of the people appearing at our southern border are seeking asylum. 

Immigrants of all sorts (non native born) number 45 million which is 15% of our population and they account for:

45% of our domestic work force

36% of manufacturing

33% of agricultural

32% hotel

 

 

Have We Lost It?

Have We Lost It ?

UnknownMass shootings. Rich people bribing their kid’s way into school. Stars of note staging their beating to acquire more fame and fortune. Woman being attacked by a Jaguar while trying to take a selfie…inside the jungle cat’s cage. All of the above and plenty more would attest to our sanity or lack thereof. Today I am thinking about something else.

I am going to do a presentation before our Foreign Policy group here at Harbour Ridge. My topic is Global Migration. I am sure several of you are asking what the hell does TTG know about wandering whomevers and you might be right. Many of the speakers throughout the season are learned. I am not. I have no alphabet soup behind my name. But of I do share a relentless desire for knowledge and I have done my homework. 

During the process I have been tossed hither and yon on the seas of public opinion. Today our news is not exactly factual or at least it only brings up the more salacious details. As a result one day I am for it and the next not quite so avid. You have to dig deep and although I have not looked at the 4 million responses  on Google in 3.9 seconds, I have delved below the surface. 

I don’t give my talk until next Monday and I don’t prerelease my speech to the press beforehand. Would probably ensure that no one but my beloved wife would show up. I will share with you the entire topic of migration and by extension immigration both legal and illegal tells one there is more than meets the eye.

Beyond the sensationalism of babies being torn from their mother’s breast or Eritreans drowning in the Mediterranean, there are several truths of our globalized world. Most importantly it brings to the fore our total inadequacy of handling 20th century problems with 19th century solutions. images-4

In the US, the bureaucratic nightmare for entry is a testament to our ability to make a relatively straightforward process immensely complex. We have 180 different types of visas. The asylum process involves two or three different agencies, each with their own particular needs and agendas. We have no real way to track and apprehend those who have overstayed. Yet combined we have over 100,000 government employees hard at work to fix things. With more money we could get it right. Sure.

When I was in the Navy I would see this rule, reg or requisition and be amazed at its innate insanity. I used to shake my head in disbelief and then realize I was on a ship among hundreds in the Navy, that was part of the Department of Defense, that was part of the U.S Government. Yikes, my one example of waste and inefficiency was everywhere. 

The immigration process in this country has been under consideration for over 33 years. The last time we overhauled it was back in the Reagan Era before many today were even born. We have had Republican and Democratic presidents. Each side has had majorities in the Senate and House and several times combined. Yet we get nowhere. 

Ditto our crumbling infrastructure. Ditto schools. Ditto entitlement reform. Ditto our deficit. The battle cry is “Wait until we have power!” And when they do they fritter away time on investigations, hearings and every bit of grandstanding available. That is both sides mind you. No one has a monopoly on idiocy. images-1

People decry the push to the extreme left and right. Marie La Pen or AOC? Take your pick. My God, democracy is crumbling. We are going to become a socialist or totalitarian state. We have lost our minds. Really? Maybe the solution is far simpler than that. 

I think we have lost it. The faith that government can run this company that keeps us alive, protected and fed. People aren’t flocking to radicals. They are embracing anything but what we have now because our status quo is incompetent. Joe six pack voted for Trump because he was a totally off the charts challenge to the establishment. The Warrens, Bookers and Sanders are the antidotes to the rich. It is not political ideology but crowd psychology. Voters don’t read party platforms. They read bios and watch sound bites. Perhaps it is not a swing to the left or right but merely to different. 

I think we have to boil so much down to yes and no answers. I think we have become infatuated by being all things to all people lest we offend. The subtleties get you those extra votes to get you reelected. Yes or no, are we going to let people immigrate to this country? Yes or no, are we going to let the illegals become legal? Have plebiscite and be done with it. Next?

Reading this you might be tempted to think I have lost it. No I haven’t and that is what is irksome. After doing my research, there are answers to immigration as there are to so many other of our burning questions. The answers require guts and political will. That’s what I think we have lost. 

As always

Ted the Great 

Factoids:

The 115th Congress ending 1/3/2019 enacted over 400 bills but many were ceremonial like naming post offices. The bills all told ran to almost 8,000 pages of blather. 

There are 248 million people on the go throughout the world. 59 million don’t want to be. The are “displaced” persons by war, persecution, famine and drought. They come from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. 

Unknown-1“No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”.   Winston Churchill

One of the closest issues where Republicans and Democrats place it as a top priority is immigration. By 75% to 14% Americans believe immigration is good for the country. 81% to 17% Americans favor figuring out a way for illegals to become legal.

Go figure!

Different Ain’t Bad…..

Am sitting here in LaLa Land with my feet up. Not planned. Broke my ankle last Friday and had surgery yesterday. On limited duty for next 6-8 weeks. Kathy is filing for divorce. Can you blame her?IMG_0002

I have been on crutches this last week and your perspective changes. You have to be aware of your surroundings and especially people around you.You are needy and for me that sucks.  Some are of immense help and others not so. The other day a woman slammed the door in my face as I was trying to go through. Probably didn’t like my bald head or something. Hellooooo!

A wonderful friend stopped by the other day to keep me company. It took us about fifteen seconds to discuss the weather and then we got down to the nitty gritty. This guy is as bad as me with meandering thoughts. In the first fifteen minutes we went down about nine dark alleys. One struck in my mind. 

It centered around the fact that we all look at things differently. I happen to like contrary thought and isms. Reductio ad absurdum, we should all live in 7 billion worlds. Yet we crave definition. I am liberal. I am conservative. I am from the North. I am from the South. I am white. I am black. I belong to this club. Is that inclusion or separation?Is this an integral part of our rancorous nature today? 

images-1The trend seems to be taking sides. To say we are going to extremes is not an exaggeration. We are setting more and more rules and if you don’t adhere, you are not one of us. Whatever club we are in we want the members to be pure. Elitism can be the gang at the country club or the gang in the hood. We hate whatever we ain’t. We want to be in this hermetically sealed room of conformity to our ideas. 

Sitting in a waiting room for a preop exam you look around at all types. This one is pleasant. That one is disgusting. Why? Because they either do or do not adhere to my standards. I gravitate towards the ones that are like me. I shun the others. Natural? Probably, but the thought occurs to me that I don’t even give them a chance. 

I am open to all sides. I didn’t say I agree but it is fascinating to hear other lines of thinking. Do I feel threatened? No. It is my way to reach out to others. I want to know and I guess I want to help. The young woman who took my blood told me she had been at this job since June. Doris went to school after 12 years in retail. She was so proud to be dong what she was doing. I told her what a great job she had done and thanked her. I could tell she felt good and so did I. What if I sat there placidly and never asked?. 

My buddy and I continued down the road and thought about this thing called “Do Unto Others”. Simple, but I hope not trite. He expressed it as just love for one another. He felt perhaps “Giving” best describe it. No, the anesthesia has not made me delirious but just think about it. We all want everyone to be just like us. Have we ever thought about being like them? Have we looked at life from their perspective? Beyond tough but really provocative and satisfying.

Every so oftenI have tried doing nothing but give for an entire day. I probably get through the first hour at best but at least I give it a try. Walk down the street or into a store and worry about that other person and not me. Say, How are you dong? And mean it. Have a conversation and elicit response. As an old friend said, hit the receive button and not transmit on your radio. 

We try to build ourselves up. We say we want to be better people but aren’t we in some way saying I just want to be better than you? I want to be richer, skinnier and a better golfer than you. The more exclusive I am the more in control of the situation. I can dictate rather than be subservient to outside influences. I am moved by a song or a movie but then I go back into my cocoon. My own gated community with my own gated thoughts. On either side of the tracks.

Well gang, so much for my reverie. UnknownI will go back to my reading and yes, probably do more writing. My world looks a little different right now and that is cool. I will let you know how I am doing. Most of all. I wonder about all of you and your lives. I hope they are different too. Come on in, the water is fine.

As always

Ted The Great

Factoids:

In a two hour out patient surgery yesterday I had contact with fifteen human beings I never met before. At our club for a dinner meal there are at least 30 servers, bussers, cooks and dishwashers that go to make my meal. Never thought of that before. 

A Cigna report stated:Only around half of Americans (53%) say they have meaningful, daily face-to-face social interactions, including an extended conversation with a friend or spending quality time with family.images-2

Additionally, the survey found that younger American are hit harder by loneliness. The generation born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s especially

Ted Talks as a non profit began in 1984. There are over 93,000 Ted Talk videos. They are all by rule 18 minutes or less. Think of all the topics we can discover that present different ideas. In your own home and no one will ever know. 

A Touch of Class….

 

IMG_3565For these last few days my son Scott, came to Harbour Ridge to play in the Member/Guest golf tournament with me. He is a wonderful golfer and a great young man. Unfortunately his back is broken trying to carry me. With great pain and personal reassessment,  I accepted the fact that I stunk! 

Not to be thwarted I rallied to participate in more intellectual activities like smoking cigars. drinking whatever and feeding my face. I was at the gym this morning at 5:30 trying to shed the effects of my debauchery. Stay tuned. Results in a month. 

I drove my buddy to Fort Lauderdale at 6:30 yesterday morning. It is the only airport that has direct flights to Denver. During the hour plus ride we had a marvelous conversation as a son and dad are wont to do. We reminisced of the last few days and centered in not on golf but the participants. 

Harbour Ridge is beautiful and understated in so many ways. It is a gated community but that is a bit of a misnomer. Scott surmised that Mom and Dad had found what they had been looking for, for many years. There are no pretentious people although I am sure there is plenty of money. This is no recitation of previous glories because it just doesn’t matter. People are comfortable in their skin. It is a great place to live. 

We noted that several dads had brought their sons. To a man whether they were 30 or fifty, they were just genuine people. No attitudes. No arrogance. Maybe the old men were able to pass their modest ways down the food chain. 

Our conversation drifted to try to find that certain something that was there. Scott noted that since he no longer was a member of a club, in some ways HR made him feel a little privileged. He wasn’t sure he was comfortable with that. We didn’t want to call it elitism because it really wasn’t. People were too down to earth. Maybe extraordinary takes on a different meaning?

He queried what was special about the whole club scene? For me it is the ability to be yourself and to expect something of your cohorts. Simply put, it is the expectation that people will live up to standards. images-10Not of fame and wealth but of that little word called decency. You keep your shirt tucked in, you don’t wear your hat in the club house and you are respectful to members as well as staff. Act like a gentleman. 

That may sound prissy to some and snobby to others. To both of us it meant good manners and a rare word in today’s world called civility. Webster defines it as a formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech. Is that restricted to the upper crust or top 10 or 20%? I think not. It is applicable everywhere. 

Unless you live under a rock, you heard of the shenanigans of one Robert Kraft this weekend. We are treated to an endless barrage of tweets from His Hairness. “Me Too” has exposed the ugly underbelly of management throughout corporate America. There was the GM plant where racism is alive and well. Priests, doctors and coaches are molesting at will. The press hops on a story and then backtracks, sort of, when they realize they have it all wrong. Is this what we have become?

I have often talked about pushing boundaries. I love thinking outside of the box. But all that freedom has its casualties. We are no longer offended by the vulgar. It becomes common place. Crass is our new vernacular.  I laughed as I told my son of what constituted a lurid verse in a song or an X rated film in our day. You can catch that most nights on today’s sitcoms. The eternal question is, have we gone too far?

Those who know me, can vouch I am not a prude. All of us have done and said a variety of things we would not do in front of our mothers. But I think we have to revise the lines we cross to not give wider latitude but maybe pull in the reins a little bit. As we pulled up to the departure curb it struck us both the word we may have been looking for was CLASS. images

To our way of thinking  you can have it whether you are a plumber or a banker. It can be in the men’s grill or local bar. It’s an awareness of what is acceptable and what is not. We can all have that touch of class. It is not snooty but decent. Let’s give it a try. 

As Always

Ted The Great

Factoids:

Some of the most common Bad manners that are acceptable:

Cell phone conversations in public

Dressing inappropriately  

Hats on in a restaurant

Foul language in public places

Bad table manners in a restaurant

Rudeness to staff. Forgotten words of please and thank you

Letting children misbehave

Classy People :

My Wife and Kids

Henry Aaron, Joe Torre, Mariano Rivera

Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Jordan Spieth

Audrey Hepburn, Sean Connery, Matt Damon

George H W Bush, Sorry could not come up with more.