All posts in Reckless Living

The Burden of Complexity


Buying light bulbs used to be simple.

I would go to the store, find the portion of the isle that held light bulbs, find the ones I needed, and buy them. It took all of 30 seconds of my entire shopping trip.

Today it is an entirely different procedure. Light bulbs now take up most of an entire aisle. Gone are the days of hurrying into an aisle and grabbing a package. Now you have choices, and a LOT of them.

Your first choice is what kind of bulb. There are the old incandescents (for now), then there are the Compact Fluorescents, halogens, and LED’s. Buying lightbulbs has become not only an economic decision, but now a moral element has crept in. One bulb is suppost to be better for the planet than another. Of course, I will then weigh environmental impact vs. my ability to also buy food that week. I know LED’s will save me money 5 years from now, but spending $25 on a light bulb makes me want cry.
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Christmas Grace


I hope this finds you well, and enjoying the anticipation of the celebration of the birth of Jesus! The following is a short story I wrote for this Christmas. This will be my last post for this year as I will be taking some time with family as we celebrate together. Merry Christmas!

The young boy moved through the city in godlike fashion, his eyes swimming in every scene at once. Soft lights in front of him reflected in his eyes as pinpoints of magic mixed with wonder. Snow crunched softly below black boots. A distant bell softly called for donations, carolers sang of Noel.

People moved quietly about their lives. A young couple laughed at a joke only they would share as they carried bags laden with gifts. A car with a Christmas tree strapped to the roof navigated the street, passing a park where a group of teens threw snowy missiles at each other, their younger siblings creating snowmen nearby.

The boy longed to join in the fun, but knew it was impossible. Continue reading →


Agree to Disagree


Picking up the Pieces

Whoever you are planning on voting for tomorrow, most of us can sympathize with how this little girl was feeling:

There is light at the end of the tunnel! Tomorrow we vote and hopefully by Wednesday we will know who the next President of the United States will be. (I say hopefully because the polls have the race so close we may be in for a very long tabulating process)

There is a problem that has begun to plague the relational landscape in our country, and it has been brought into sharp contrast by this election: We have forgotten how to agree to disagree. We either don’t engage in conversations that may be harrowing, and so avoid the conflict, or we engage and get so passionate that we destroy whatever relationship was there in the first place.

I have seen far too many adults who allowed disagreements to become permanent wedges that drove people apart, because they couldn’t agree to disagree. A recent Rasmussen poll reported that 27% of people reported that this election cycle had negatively affected a relationship with a friend or family member. It has pitted brother against brother, father against son, Facebook friend against Facebook friend.

How do we learn to have civil discourse, disagree, and still be friends? Here are a few thoughts to help patch those relational wounds that may have been caused in time to have Thanksgiving dinner together without throwing a drumstick at the other person:
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What I Don’t Know


Does anyone really like going to the doctor?

No offense to the lone doctor who may find their way into my BLOG. I’ve heard lots of people (myself included) say that they hate going to the doctor. This assumes that maybe there are some people out there who enjoy the experience. I guess maybe Hypochondriacs and those who find lab coats attractive. For the rest of us a trip to the doctor is usually instigated by the sense that there is something wrong with our bodies. Already frustrated by our frailty we go and sit in a waiting room looking at Golf Digest waiting to be seen.

This was me several months ago. I had been having strange pains in my feet and after ignoring them for longer than I should have, I finally made the dreaded call. Before I went in I did what any self-respecting 30 something nerd would do.

I Googled it.

It only took 2-3 minutes before I had a pretty good idea of what was wrong with my feet. However, I wanted to be sure, so I found myself at the sterile office with the bad art waiting for my name to be called by a woman with a clipbaord.

After telling the Nurse Practitioner my symptoms she confirmed my self-diagnosis. She then gave me a few suggestions and prescribed a light pain medication for the days it’s bad. She said there were stretches that I could do to help . After looking for information about the stretches for a few minutes to no avail she told me to Google it when I got home.

Did my doctor just tell me to Google for the therapy?

I have to admit, I spent part of the rest of the afternoon wondering why I had gone to the doctor in the first place. I didn’t learn anything that I didn’t know before I went. And I had $60 less in my checking account.

So I asked myself, in the age of the internet, why do we need doctors for those kinds of issues? Sure there are times when they are necessary. If I ever get shot I probably won’t have the time to Google “how to heal a bullet wound”. But what about the in between issues?

Then I realized the reason.

I don’t know what I don’t know. Continue reading →


Stop the Crazy!

I decided my last post wasn’t controversial enough, so I thought I would spice things up this week.

(Just kidding by the way. My last post was my most visited, most commented and shared post since I started this BLOG. Thank you to everyone on both sides of the issue who weighed in. If you missed it, click here for the full post)

There is something about election season that makes me want to bury my head in the sand and not come up for air until mid November. I am embarrassed by the behavior, rhetoric, and tactics that both political parties use. I watched part of the Presidential debate last week and was pretty sure they were going to lower a cage from the ceiling and just have an MMA fight right then and there. (Which would have been amazing by the way…)

Nonsense issues are latched onto because they give traction, not because they are important. Romney talks about the death of the Libyan Ambassador as if President Obama pulled the trigger himself. President Obama talks about Romney’s bank accounts as if he were laundering money for the mob. Neither issue has anything to do with the larger direction of our nation, or their opponents ability to lead said nation.

Simplifying issues wins voters, and raises money.  Campaigns have no incentive to have nuanced views because nuance creates room for accusation, and doesn’t motivate people to action. Discussing the guts of economic policy bores people. Calling your opponent a Communist or a Tax-Evader, that gets the blood pumping.
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