I need to change

I need to change my attitudes.

It’s really easy for me to think my way is the best.

Heather and I recently bought a used car to make our lives less complicated. We carefully chose the model that had the very best balance of fun and fuel savings. And we love it.

I also have taken a lot of satisfaction in the thought that this is a car that few people choose. It’s fun to be off the beaten path.

But I tend to look at other cars and attack their lack of practicality or wasteful use of fuel. And then I judge their owners for their shiny, new vehicle-of-choice that does not fit my narrow set of parameters.

So I’m working on changing my attitudes.

Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves” (from here).

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

airbnb plus hotels mashup

the indside of a fancy hotel room

You heard it hear first — my startup idea.

Business people who travel a lot often sleep in a large hotel room with two beds — and one is always empty.

What if they used a service like airbnb to get a roommate for their two-or-three night stays?

Potential problems and solutions:

  • You could get someone annoying. Solution: the app would allow you to cancel and pick a different room.
  • You’re an introvert and require your space after a draining day of conference activity. Solution: the app allows you to select a roommate who also values quiet and personal space.
  • Privacy. Solution: the app allows you to pick people of the gender you’re most comfortable with.
  • Getting the word out that this app exists could be a problem if hotel companies use all their negative marketing tricks to make the app look bad. Solution: have airbnb buy the app idea and handle the marketing. (Airbnb — are you listening? I’m open for offers.)
  • I’d never use an app like that.” Solution: don’t.
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Variety and uniformity

a collection of vinyl records at a thrift shop - copyright 2016 by paul merrill

We love variety. We love uniformity. This contrast in our wants and needs is intriguing.

The familiar can be comforting — knowing that something will always be there. And yet, we love change. Few people would choose to have the same meal three times a day. We love listening to different tunes. A change in seasons is often welcome.

And yet everyone has different needs for variety and uniformity. Some people are content with no change, ever. On the other side, our ADD culture pushes us toward constant stimulation, which requires never-ending change. I’m probably closer to the wanting-variety end of that spectrum.

My need for constancy is reflected by the fact that I’ve been married 26 years. Yet there is endless variety in my wife. (Women are so different than men that I will never figure her out!)

Finally, variety is a luxury. In America today, we have far greater choice than kings and queens did 400 years ago. We can get fresh fruit 365 days a year. When I lived in Africa, my friends in rural areas did not have that luxury. If mangoes weren’t ready to pick, you didn’t eat mangoes. If they were ripe, you ate a lot, for several weeks straight.

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Where to give this Christmas

homeless signHomelessness is sometimes a result of mental illness. Often that is combined with substance abuse.

My friend and I encountered another friend we hadn’t seen in a year. Our not-seen friend is now homeless. No substance abuse is involved, but there are definitely some other powerful issues at play.

I’ll be talking with two friends who are experts at my church to find out some ways to help him. It’s complicated.

So this Christmastime, I think it’s a great idea to give to an organization in your area that helps the homeless. You’ll be assisting those who have reached bottom and maybe providing hope for the future.

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Filters

drip coffee filterFilters help us relate to other people. When we see someone with their hair messed up (and not on purpose), do we tell them about their problem or keep it to ourselves? Do we share our political views without considering the majority perspective of those in the room? When we see something wrong, do we speak up and fight for what we feel is right?

Everyone falls somewhere on the scale of having a weak filter (readily saying what’s on our minds) to having a powerful filter (rarely saying anything). And it’s good that both types exist. If confronting people didn’t exist, nothing would ever get done. (And there would be a lot of mismatched outfits). If sensitive types didn’t exist, there would be a lot more wars.

I am glad for the diversity of creation.

Special thanks to my brother Bill. Our brief discussion of filters during his recent visit spurred this post.

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail