Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Be Kind to One Another

"Be Kind to One Another" - Ellen Degenres sign off message on her talk show

When we are invited to someone's home, most of us (if not all of us) are on our best behavior. We show respect and decorum towards our hosts. We use "indoor" voices when conversing. We don't track mud all over the carpet or deliberately break the china. When offered refreshments, we cordially accept and curb our eating to ensure that there's enough food to go around. We don't get into fist fights with other guests, despite how annoying they might be. We make an effort to be polite and pleasant.

As humans, we are all guests in this world, yet we don't act accordingly. We devour resources with no consideration for others, not even future generations. We pollute and wreck havoc on the environment in search of convenience and ease. We have lost all sense of right and wrong. We continually insult our host by continuously rampaging through life.

One behavior does not absolve the rest. How we act publicly should not be disassociated from how we act privately. As a guest at a dinner party, we act politely because we care about the opinion of others. When we leave a party, we don't want the rest of the guests to think that we were rude or gruff. So, we regulate our behavior accordingly. What will be said about us when we leave the Biggest Party of all? Will we be remembered as trust worthy, honest, deceitful? Will our children have clean air and water to enjoy all the conveniences we take for granted? Why aren't we thinking about these lasting impressions as much as we think about social decorum, which is eroding in and of it's self.

What a life we live where we leave bad impression wherever we go. Our impact will linger after we are gone. What a life we live where we can't even bother to be kind, to be polite, to be charitable. What a life we live where senior citizens are bullied and discriminated against because they are old. What a life we'll live when future generations, who grew up with a sense of entitlement, will take over. What kind of life do we live ?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Micro Story - Blue Light

I'm walking along 34th street on my way to Penn Station. The sun has set and twilight is upon me. I look up and see a faint ice blue light dancing in the horizon. I squint my eyes to get a better look, but I can't make out the image. It looks like a radioactive firefly. The perfect round circumference is too uniform to be the flame of a lighter. Maybe it's a bee on a tiny flying motorcycle with an LED light. 

The illuminated dot and I are walking towards each other, yet it doesn't grow bigger as it approaches. I quicken my pace in haste to discover what it is. Ten meters away, I see that the dot is at the tip of a long metal cylinder cradled between impeccably manicured fingers. A woman is holding an electronic cigarette. Her hand rapidly moves to and from her lips with a graceful flick of the wrist. Her arm is raised in a permanent V, with the elbow hovering a foot away from her body, and her nose points to the sky, signaling, "Look at me with my e-cig. I'm so hip."