My Hometown

There are very few moments I ever think quoting Jason Aldean isn’t literary suicide, but this is one of those moments. 

There ain’t a corner of this hallowed ground

That we ain’t laughed or cried on

It’s where we loved, lived, learned real life stuff

It’s everything we’re made of

This past week I’ve been continually reminded why I stayed here, and why I’m more proud than ever to call Fargo, “home.” 

It’s the way my hometown pulls together to support one of its own.  The way the local bank creates something called “Pay It Forward” to foster a spirit of giving. The way the folks at Anne Carlsen Center and the local detox do so much behind the scenes (with so little recognition). The way local businessmen rebuild downtown and the way a local foundation creates Giving Hearts Day and inspires hundreds to give millions to thousands in need. 

It’s the way my workplace learned yesterday we would be hosting the funeral for Officer Moszer. Doing so would be no small undertaking—it would be our 12th event day in a row, would require everyone coming in on a Sunday to cover the ice, build the stage, place over 1400 chairs, and clean every room. It would likely take most of the night. 

And not one person in the room thought twice about doing whatever it would take to exceed every expectation of the family and friends of one of our own. 

Proud of you all. Proud to be here. Proud to follow your example. 

Multitasking

Twas Grace that brought me safe thus far,

and Grace will lead us home.

“I’m a great multitasker.”

No. You’re not.

The term “multitasking” was introduced by IBM in 1965, referring to how its latest computer could perform multiple functions at once.

Human multitasking, for example, is typing an email while you’re listening to another awful webinar. Or texting while you’re at a stoplight. Or making your kids’ supper while you’re listening to your ex’s 12-minute voicemail.

We all do it. We all think we’re good at it.

We are all wrong…and it’s ruining our meetings, our kids’ band concerts, and our friendships.

The interwebs, social media, and cell phones have made attention-deficit the new normal. We’ve turned conversation into “LOL.” We are now given so many choices, we’re no longer ever satisfied with what we have.

Match.com is a perfect example. Sometime during my lifetime it became creepy to see a pretty girl and just ask for her phone number. It became unusual to actually meet someone face-to-face and feel such a connection that you both wanted to see each other again.

Girls that give you their phone numbers? They’re unicorns. Eclipses.

Instead, we sort through endless police lineups of faces. We send out 10 emails designed to make an impression in under five seconds. Then we wait, and we hope—of those 10—we might get one response back. And when we do, then we’re immediately onstage doing our best opening monologue. If we’re not funny? They move right on to the next photo.

We treat each other like we’re disposable, because we have an endless supply of people to meet in the palms of our hands. This is true of online dating and our new versions of friendships.

That lack of depth (of conversation and of understanding) is scary to those of us who think that depth is the meaning of life.

We multitask each other like we’re flipping TV channels.

And what we find—eventually—is that those people we already know (and probably met offline) are still the only people we can count on, and we rarely give them the love and attention they deserve.

(If you need something more substantial than writing to make you believe that, attend just one funeral every week. About the time you get halfway through “Amazing Grace”, it will become obvious to you.)

If you have someone that takes time this week to ask how you’re doing…or wants to share a part of their life with you? Embrace them immediately, never forgetting the rest of the world isn’t so kind.

Be present with those in front of you. Those are the people who matter.

And I’ll do the same. And it will start with the two of us.

Five simple things you can do to make your life easier, happier or richer–all in less than fifteen minutes.