Wednesday, August 25, 2010
While watching the news about the Chilean miners who are trapped thousands of feet below the surface in a copper/gold mine, I pondered their predicament with my “take” on retirement. Yes, we are together 7/24/365…but….we are not trapped. We leave when we want to; we breathe freely and, most importantly, we shower daily!
I heard on the news that local officials were consulting NASA and submariners on how to handle the emotional trauma of being in such close quarters with 32 other human beings. While I’m sure they are friends, nothing has prepared them for the possibility of seeing only each other for an extended period of time. They are not rocket scientists like the NASA astronauts or military men with a higher mission; they are ordinary working men. I came up with my own ideas of how to encourage them to “hang in there”. I borrowed some of the ideas from my years of teaching 1st and 2nd graders about religion. I had to keep the attention of the six- and seven-year-olds for 90 minutes once a week after they’d already spent 6 hours in a classroom...the similarity is that they often felt "trapped"...by me!
So….here are my ideas:
2) A fund should be established on the outside (by contributions from around the world)…the miners should be told that there would be a competition for the duration of their entrapment to see which one of them exhibited the most sympathy, compassion, and helpfulness while trapped...the winner would receive the cash. (They shouldn’t be told that the fund would be divided equally when they get free…the idea is to keep them helping each other for however long it takes to get them out...I'm sure the competitive nature of men isn't an "American" thing.)
3) Kazoos should be lowered down the supply tube and they should practice their national anthem to be played on the day they are released. (There's already a video of them singing their national anthem.)
5) And this one is borrowed from Marriage Encounter and Cursillo retreats sponsored by the Catholic church: the world should be encouraged to "adopt a miner". Make an email address available where messages from the world can be printed; choose a name and make the message specific to that miner. Before emailing, go to my favorite free translation website (got me through my French classes in college).
Add them to your prayer list. The best thing ever would be if Apple stepped up to the plate and helped the rescuers send a cable line down...along with it 33 iphones!!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
In view of the “hero of the week” Steven Slater, I thought I’d reminisce about life as a flight attendant…it seems that one thing is constant from “my day” when we were still called stewardesses, to today…rude people are universal. (You’ll notice I didn’t excuse the occasional rude flight attendant…the jury will decide whether Mr. Slater is a hero or a villain.) I am referring to the absence of courtesy. It has no gender bias; or race bias; or age bias; or nationality bias…you’ll find rudeness in the grocery store; in the line at your bank; at the DMV (definitely at the DMV…at both sides of the counter)…needless-to-say, rude is not discriminated against.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
While reminiscing at dinner, we were doing a lot of “Do you remember….” talk. Topics included childhood games and TV shows and the products we “had to have”. They are a litany of the things that the baby boomer generation made profitable. How I wish I had invested in the parent companies of this list through the decades: