Sunday, December 21, 2008

Papa, what do you want to be when you grow up?

One of my granddaughters asked me the other day, "Papa, what do you want to be when you grow up?" I thought for a little bit, worrying that I didn't have an answer. Then it hit me right between the eyes--that is the key question, what did I want to be when I grow up. How do I answer that question to someone, who believes that I haven't grown up, or whom at least believes I'm still capable of growing (up). Wow, that is one of the best compliments I could ever receive. My granddaughter thinks I can still grow up (or become) at age 59 1/2.

Then I thought I'd be sly and ask her, "I don't know Melia, what do you think I should be when I grow up?" She said, "Papa, you should be a worker, that's what you should be...."

Fair enough, I think I'll be a worker. That will settle it for a while, until I try to figure out the real meaning of "BE".

The American Family of the Future (AFoF)

Not too long ago, I was in the Los Angeles Airport (Delta terminal), and in came the American Family of the Future (AFoF). A dad, a mom, one boy, and one girl. The parents were in their mid- to upper- thirties, and the kids were probably 10 or 12, maybe younger. Each was "plugged into" an electronic gadget, some sort of "pod", or as they say in Flight Attendant lingo, "personal electronic device" (PED). Earplug wires were dangling.

The team of four sat down without looking at one another, and were content in playing with and/or listening and/or seeing what was going on in their electronic device, until the mom told the other three to "go get me some fries".

Without looking at mom, the son gets up, and heads toward the closest fast food etablishment. Before taking two steps, the dad said "Don't forget the ketchup". As the son returned with the "fries", they were still "living within" their PEDs to the point they said not one word to one another, as they ate the packages of "fries". Connected, but NOT CONNECTED.

I have seen the same phenomenon in other countries, so the AFoF culture has spread. For example: four Singaporean friends (nothing personal against Singaporeans at all) can be sitting at the same cafe table, and not speak one word to each other because they are so busy "texting" to other friends. Each is in their own little world. Connected in a way, but really NOT CONNECTED.

So, what does this say about us as a culture? How long can we stay connected, if we really aren't connected? Can we feel someone's pain, if we only communicate through "PEDs"?

The next time your child says in their prayers "Bless mama, bless daddy," and down the list, let's hope they're not thinking of you from their PED address book. (Think I'll have another cup)

I'll never start a blog

Who has the time for that, of all things. Well, here I am, trying to follow in my two kids footsteps (again).

The title of this blog tells it all. These are thoughts or reflections that have come to me while honoring the morning CoffeeBuddha. Some people think while showering, some while eating, but I think while drinking my coffee. It is usually quiet, and my brain has not been fogged by the work day. One thought before closing this post. I have never seen a fist fight between people while drinking coffee. Water, yes, beer, yes, soda, yes, but never coffee. Have a good day.