Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fun Monday - What's on My Mind in 2009

Faye at Summit Musings is our hostess for the first Fun Monday of 2009. She has thrown the following thought provoking question at us:
"What's on your mind as we close out 2008 and begin 2009? Large and small. What are often your first thoughts the minute you wake up? When you're alone and unguarded? Working? Stuck in traffic? Playing with the children? Walking the dogs? When you can't sleep?"

This was a lot harder than I anticipated.  There are so many things that are always on my mind -- my family, parenting skills (and lack thereof), my dismal time management skills, passing my classes, making sure my students learn something, getting into better shape physically, and on and on.  But I decided to think a bit 'bigger' for this assignment, and here's what I came up with:

1.  Is courtesy contagious?  I'm going to try to be a bit more courteous to everyone I come into contact with, in the hopes that some of it rubs off.  Because basic courtesy seems to be a lost art.  From rude comments on message boards and online articles, to rude drivers, to rude parents, and even rude fellow customers in stores and restaurants -- maybe if someone shows them an alternate way to behave, some will follow....  Not all, but maybe a few.....  Maybe just one...  and they can show another one....  

2.  Do we have the right leadership?  Yes, but sometimes we need to look a little harder for our leaders instead of assuming they are just the elected officials we send to DC.  There are people who have vision, ability, and resources who are even now doing something that can provide long term solutions.  One of them is right here in NH - Dean Kamen - inventor of the Segway (among other things) and founder of the FIRST Robotics competition for high school students.  From today's NH Union Leader comes coverage of the 2009 FIRST kickoff, and his speech, which includes these quotes:
"You can't confuse the real invention of wealth with this superficial movement of money, this shell game that's been played by bankers and the Wall Street crowd," he said after his speech. "It's time to get back to basics and invest in serious projects that will create serious wealth."

"Why do we do FIRST? Because the world's a mess," Kamen said. "Read the news, look around you. ... Two-thirds of the people alive today, or 4 billion people, are living on less than $2 a day, and half of those are living on $1. You're the richest people in the world by far, and the world's a mess, and somebody's got to fix it."

He believes in our future, and he's doing something about it.  I too want to be part of the solution to the crises that seem to surround us from every angle.  I'm not a multimillionaire or a famous inventor, but even if I just do small things like volunteering and being a bit more friendly and courteous to those around me, maybe I'll influence someone.  Just one person... and they can influence one person... And so it goes.....  


Happy 2009 to all my Fun Monday friends!


12 comments:

Pamela said...

It is too easy to feel very small and helpless.

ps. thanks for the reminder to be a grace-filled person tomorrow.

Faye said...

I thought of my friend Beth when I read your post. She has lovely twin daughters who are young women now and, from the time they were little girls, Beth always treated them with the same courtesy she showed adults. They return this same affection and respect to others. Courtesy reaps courtesy.

A different kind of leadership? Interesting, and valid, question. In order that politicians can get elected they have to have stamina, which doesn't always translate to leadershiip.

Hootin' Anni said...

Yes, if one person does something, and succeeds, then another will take the baton and pass it on...the domino effect.

Come read mine if you can find time. Happy Fun Monday!!

m (the misanthrope) said...

Great FM post! I especially related to #1. My mom raised me to "treat others as I would like to be treated". Now, I'm sure I could do better, but I truly do try to be polite and considerate of others as much as possible. I am appalled at some of the behavior I see from others, though! I wonder - what would they do if their mom was watching? Or maybe not everyone's mom raised them to be polite and consider the effects that their actions have on others? Anyway - happy FM and thanks for the thought-provoking post!

Jan said...

A very good post. I think courtesey is contagious, and if I'm wrong, at least I bring a lot of smiles to faces.

Sayre said...

A little courtesy goes a long way. It's too bad that so few people realize it. I do that too - try to be the one nice thing in a cashier's otherwise crappy day, or hold the door for the mom struggling with a stroller. And I smile. Usually, I get one back.

hulagirlatheart said...

I'm with you on the courtesy issue. Rudeness is everywhere, and it's so easy to get caught up in it. Why are folks like that nowadays?

{i}Post said...

yes! I say courtesy is contagious! And I agree whole heatedly with your assessment of our leadership!

Molly said...

I hope that you are right that courtesy is contagious. I am willing to give it a try.

Alison said...

great post, very insightful and thoughtful. thank you for the simple reminders.

ChrisB said...

I was brought up to be kind and courteous and I tried to instill the same values into my children. I really don't understand why some people behave in such anti-social manner.

Gattina said...

A few years ago I also had this kind of thoughts, now I am retired and decided that others can do it now ! Rude people I can't stand either !