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