The Most Important Things...

The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them--words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to where your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear.

~Stephen King~

Happy Birthday to Me

For my birthday this year, I thought I would try something a little different than what I’ve done in recent years. It started out as one of those “I wonder what would happen if…” things that started about 6 months before said birthday, and as time rolled on and my birthday got closer and closer it became in my mind more of a social experiment that would have a profound impact on how I view this particular slice of the world we live in.

Before I get into it, I think I should offer a disclaimer. I am not bitter. I am not angry. I did not do this to set anyone up. I was just wondering what would happen if I removed my birthday information from Facebook. The results weren’t that surprising to me at all.

As I was studying this a little deeper, I stumbled upon some interesting statistics about what we now know as social media. For example, in October of 2012, USA today reported that Facebook had hit the one billion user mark. That’s ONE.BILLION.USERS. That would put Facebook in 3rd place among the world’s most populous countries, if Facebook were in fact a country.

Another one is that more members join LinkedIn per day than the entire enrollment of all the IVY League Schools. And every minute, 72 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube. And if Wikipedia were made into a book it would be 2.25 million pages long.

"Because We’ve Always Done it That Way"

I have never understood that as an answer when attempting to find better ways to do things. I hope I never do understand it. While there’s something to be said for the axiom “If it ain't broke, don’t fix it”, I have always considered a person who resorts to the argument “because we've always done it that way” to be closed-minded, obstinate, and inflexible. It is nothing less than inexcusable to me when this is used as the first line of defense and the person using it expects this to end all discussion on the matter.

I offer up the following as an example to demonstrate why I feel this way.

Fire Pit Therapy - Redux

Right now I'm sitting outside next to what once was a raging fire with lots of good people around. One by one they have all gone to their homes and even Ben and Brande have gone inside and to bed. Now, at 2:45 in the AM, I am alone with the fire and I feel at peace and in harmony with the pops and crackles that accompany the sounds of crickets, and an occasional flock of geese flying overhead.

We had a fire last weekend also but it was a different fire with a different feel... more like a marshmallow and hot dog fire that one was. Tonight's fire was more of a storytelling fire and while it began as a celebratory fire, it became clear to me as the evening turned into morning that this would be a fire that I would keep company long after my friends retired.