Needed Perspective on Modern Conveniences

I’m man enough to admit that I’ve got some faults. One of them is short-term impatience with “technology” that isn’t working like it’s supposed to, or occasional lack of appreciation for the basic miracle of it all. It might involve getting pissed at a flight delay on the tarmac, accidentally pressing several cellular telephone buttons at once with one of my awkwardly long fingers, smacking a mouse down because I’ve clicked three times and nothing has happened yet, or silently stewing over a work PC that’s only now displaying text that I typed seconds ago.

This isn’t often, fortunately. Most of the time, I’m accustomed to the crawling text, waits for click-response or overly tiny buttons, and brush it off as nothing to worry about. On planes, I try to get window seats specifically so I can gaze wondrously and sometimes photograph the sky outside, to the extent that my neck gets sore by the end of the flight.

Still, occasionally, impatient irritation arises with modern conveniences. A sense of perspective is sorely needed in such moments!

This snippet of comedian Louis C.K. on Conan O’Brien provides just that, and the best way — blunt and straightforward. I love it. “We live in this amazing world, and it’s wasted on the crappiest generation of spoiled idiots…”

Yes, while I’m still far from retirement age, I did grow up with rotary phones, black-and-white TV (color had been around a couple decades but was too expensive), vinyl records, and rabbit-ear antennas (4 VHF channels and 2 UHF, no cable). We didn’t even have a car, nor any form of air conditioning (couldn’t afford either one). The summer of 1980, in Dallas, with no air conditioning, was an unforgettable experience. So…

This reminder is as much for me as for you. Don’t be a “noncontributing zero.” Appreciate what you’ve got, and what you are capable to do, and don’t whine like an ungrateful pansy about what you don’t have and can’t do!

Now if I could just make my kids call only sharing one dial phone for a week… >:-)


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