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Friday’s Random Thoughts #7

Hard is overrated

It bugs me when I see an unkempt guy in shorts and a T shirt sorting the mail in my office building. But he is my mailman. If he had a uniform, no problem. Why can’t US postal delivery persons wear a uniform? Why did casual Friday extend to casual everyday for the USPS? The FedEx and UPS guys have uniforms. Certain jobs should have uniforms – police, firemen, 49ers and the mailman.

From the Wall Street Journal 7/19/2014: Only three in ten Americans age 25 or older have a college degree.  Another 8% are high-school dropouts, leaving the overwhelming majority, more than 60%, high school grads without a college degree.

The best, and perhaps only way, to build strong relationships is time, not quality time but quantity time.

From Arthur Brooks in the New York Times:

ABD AL-RAHMAN III was an emir and caliph of Córdoba in 10th-century Spain. He was an absolute ruler who lived in complete luxury. Here’s how he assessed his life:

“I have now reigned above 50 years in victory or peace; beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honors, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting to my felicity.”

Fame, riches and pleasure beyond imagination. Sound great? He went on to write:

“I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot: They amount to 14.” That’s it! Only 14.

No one sums up the moral snares of materialism more famously than St. Paul in his First Letter to Timothy: “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Or as the Dalai Lama pithily suggests, it is better to want what you have than to have what you want.

My daughters laugh at me because I don’t know how to order anything at Peets fancier than “coffee with room.” Today I worked up the courage to order a latte. But the barista asked, “is low fat milk ok?” I don’t like low fat milk, so I asked if I could have high fat milk. She looked at me strange and asked, ” How about whole milk?” Next time I went to Peets I ordered a Full Fat Latte. Finally, I have a fancy coffee to order.

Must read article by William Deresiewicz in the New Republic entitled Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League.

Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it.

This weekend will be the best baseball weekend of the season so far. Dodgers at Giants with the Giants up one and a half games. Little Timmy must lead the way.

Two great summer movies: The Man Who Would Be King with Michael Caine and Sean Connery and Super 8.

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