Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On the Road Again...

Greetings from the lovely Newark Airport. Here I sit, on a really long layover before my flight to Tel Aviv. I've been up since 4:30 this morning and I certainly feel it!

I have another 2.5 hours before departure and am spending the time catching up on email and phone correspondence. I've already run the battery down on my Zune... (MP3 player) and am sitting glued to a plug so that my laptop and phone batteries can recharge. Ahhh.... technology!

As I'm sitting here working, I'm reminded of a strange human phenomenon - the tendency of people to talk EXTREMELY LOUDLY on their cell phones in public places. What is up with that? I have two gentlemen sitting near me in the business center of the lounge I'm waiting in. They each have had lengthy cell phone calls which I've heard every word of, albeit in a language not my own. I was very bothered by their conversations and then I realized I could plug my headphones into my laptop and listen to music to drown them out. Score! As soon as I got set up with that, a 3rd person joined them and they decided to have a conference call! Now they have a screaming person coming over the speaker phone, and all three of them are yelling back. It is making it through the reasonably set volume level of my music.

Common courtesy? Where has it gone? Being thoughtful and considerate of other people seems to be something missing all too often in our society. A sense of entitlement seems to be of epidemic proportions. Entitlement to one's own comfort, one's own convenience, to meeting ones needs, no matter how that might impact those nearby.

I want to encourage us all to look at ourselves to patrol for this sort of entitled behavior. Our comfort is not more important than everyone else's. Our needs are no more (and no less) important than the needs of others. Peace on our planet actually begins with a basic level of respect for the needs and rights of others. If we can't speak more softly on our cell phones, we haven't got a hope in heck of achieving a more peaceful planet!

Signing off from Newark, NJ... next stop Jerusalem!!

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