De-polarize

Today’s world seems to be marked by deeper and wider rifts than ever. In my short lifetime, it’s worse than I have ever seen it.

As a kid, I remember the Vietnamese and Russians being our mortal enemies. They were a world apart from my suburban existence, so I never thought that much about them.

Nowadays, Republicans are mortal enemies of Democrats — and vice-versa. European nationalists are sometimes not on speaking terms with their Muslim neighbors.

What can be done about this?

An even better question is, what can I do about it?

Here are a few ideas to help build bridges and not fences. (And please feel free to voice your own ideas in the comments section.)

  1. Think of someone that you see each week who you’d not normally talk with. Strike up a conversation by asking a simple question. “What has been the best part of your day so far?”
  2. There’s a person who you see every week who believes differently than you do about something that’s important to both of you. In a very nice way, ask them, “What influenced your decision to think that way?”
  3. You see that person who makes your blood boil again. (Let’s call them, “Adolph.”) Think of something about Adolph that is amazingly good. If you can’t do that, talk with someone you respect who knows Adolph well. Ask that respected friend to share one awesome thing about Adolph. Then think about that thing the next time you see Adolph. Go so far as to say, “Adolph, I heard from [respected friend] about your ability to [do something amazing]. Tell me more about that!”
  4. Think about that thing someone does that drives you crazy. Think about why they do that. Their reason might make total sense.
  5. Think about what you do that might drive others crazy. Stop doing it.
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350 iPhones

a house made of iPhones

It takes only the amount one would spend on 350 iPhone X’s to buy a decent house in Denver.

Or if you go for the base model, the iPhone 8, it’s like buying 500.

Somehow the (350 = a house) equation staggered me.

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And that’s why I ride

sidewalk in the autumn, greenwood village, colorado

I took this iPhone photo during my bike ride home, the other day. It was just after 5 pm.

November 4th marks the autumn time change. My ride home will require lots of lights and reflectorized everything.

But until then, I’ll enjoy the ride.

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Drawn to texture

a sea of toys at a charity shop

I love patterns.

Tha artistic side of my brain loves how zooming out on a sea of similar things creates a montage of uniformity with vast contrasts.

If you’ve looked at the masthead of this website, you’ll see a set of patterns that I found interesting. (Click on “Shiny Bits of Life” at the top. Then hit the refresh button on your web browser to see them all.)

Life is a montage of experiences and memories. They pile up and build a texture of thoughts and actions that make up who we are.


Footnote: I took this photo at a local charity shop. Sadly, these toys will mostly eventually end up in a landfill.

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Take the stairs

stairs signs

Walk right past that elevator and find the staircase.

You’ll be benefiting your health and humanity:

  1. The small break in your day will stimulate your mind to perform better when you return to your desk.
  2. Moving your body up and down those stairs will get your heart rate up and help you to live (slightly) longer.
  3. Your lungs will want more oxygen, so you’ll breathe deeper.
  4. The added stress to your legs will actually increase your bone density.
  5. Your refreshed mind and body will make you better company for your co-workers.
  6. It’s a quick and easy way to add at least a little exercise into your day.
  7. Taking those steps will help you lose weight…  a little bit is better than none!
  8. No special clothing is required.
  9. Elevators use a tremendous amount of energy. Riding solo vs. taking the stairs consumes enough energy to power your stove for three hours. (Well, I’m just making that up. But it does take a huge amount of energy to move that giant chunk of metal up and down the elevator shaft.)

 


Disclaimers:

  1. If you work in a skyscraper, this does not apply. Use your good judgment. At least you can take a few flights of stairs up and down when you need to use the necessary room.
  2. Some buildings handily lock their stairways for security purposes. (What happens when there’s a fire?)
  3. Not everyone can take stairs! But you can take a break, anyhow. Just look away from your screen for a bit.
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