Friday, July 22, 2016

Donuts in Need of a Home



Friends,
Walking down the streets of Chicago this week I saw a young man holding a cardboard box that read “begging and ashamed”. Now, I usually feel bad for folks who’ve resorted to panhandling -even if I sometimes wonder about their need. I wonder what it would be like to live on the street and imagine walking in their shoes -telling myself I would surely make the best of such circumstances. But when I saw this kid, something was different. Maybe it was his age (not much older than my own kids). Maybe it was just his demeanor (slouched so as to avoid eye contact). Whatever the reason, I started thinking he was someone’s kid. How must his parents feel? Did they know their son was in this situation? Were they unwilling or unable to help him? Then… I imagined this scruffy young man as my son. Bam! I was struck to the core. What if that was my kind, innocent, loving son driven by who-knows-what circumstances to beg? Ragged, tired and dirty on some strange sidewalk. Begging. That simple notion created a void inside me so big it overwhelmed me. So long as it was me that I imagined in his shoes, I could handle it. But as soon as I saw him as my son my empathy went through the roof. His situation became intolerable -no, please, not my son!
I wonder what would happen if every one of us imagined those in need not as our tough selves, but as the vulnerable child they once were. Our child, full of dreams and brimming with potential. If we did, I think the world would be a slightly better place. A place brimming with smiles and donuts. Speaking of which, I’ve got a dozen ready to be had. So, if you’re in the office today, please come grab a sweet treat. If not, don’t worry. Dirk Kitteridge is sure to give any leftover donuts to the homeless (as he has on so many occasions already).
Happy Friday!
Photo: Sweet treat shop window display taken yesterday morning in Chicago

Friday, July 15, 2016

Nice Donuts


Friends,
With the appalling news out of Nice last night it’s hard not to succumb to fear –which is precisely the intent of those perpetrating such atrocious acts.  At times like these (which are all too frequent), I find it helpful to try to put things into perspective. After all, we live in a big world. With 7.4 billion of us around, you might not be surprised to know 151 thousand people die every day. About 1,440 of them –slightly less than one percent—die due to violence. So, even though eighty four people were killed (which, admittedly, is eighty four too many), that’s under six percent of the average number of people who die a violent death every day.  As we mourn the loss and contemplate how we can make the world a better place where everyone gets along, I think the best thing we can do to combat the cowardly acts of evil men is to go on with our normal lives, comforted in the knowledge that far more people die from diarrhea every day (close to fifty thousand) than the combined death toll from all the high-profile attacks of the past few months. On that note… have a donut! A dozen Dunkin’ Donuts are here and ready to be consumed.
Happy Friday!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Big News: Donuts Have Arrived!



“The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.”  –Thomas Jefferson


Friends,
As both a science afficionado and a news junkie, the thought of a 24 hour news cycle conjures memories of the water, carbon and nitrogen cycles. Of course, once that notion was planted in my head, I was compelled to draw it out (a picture is worth a thousand words).
The process begins and ends with the commentator who anchors (pun intended) two distinct sub-cycles  which are established based on the relative distance of reported events from your home: local (i.e. near) and global (i.e. far). The local cycle is tailored to your surroundings and while you might be forgiven for assuming it’s relevant to your daily life, the reality is it is mostly comprised of fluff, fleeting information and is full of itself. Then there’s the global cycle –granted this is a generous label –you’ll notice the U.S.A. is bigger than the rest of the world (i.e. “scary places”) put together. This larger cycle has spin as the dominant natural force and its direction –clockwise or counter-clockwise—will depend on the media outlet’s politcal leanings and agenda. The global cycle exposes us to the highly entertaining political circus, things to geek-out about (my favorite), the media’s pet topics, a reason de jour to be terrified of the rest of the world and some mumbo-jumbo about gravity’s effect on the Dow, Nikkei or Footsie. Come to think of it, the news hasn’t changed all that much since Mssr. Jefferson made his observation.


Unfortunately, donuts were reportedly invented after our nation’s 3rd president’s passing, so there are no clever Jeffersonian quotes we can use for the call to action today. Instead, I have breaking news. The Donut Bar has closed it’s doors forever, so I took a detour to a new place for today’s dozen: P F Donut Shop (a hole in the wall in five points). Give them a try and let me know what you think. Finally, I bid you adieu with one of my favorite quotes about donuts.

“The optimist sees the donut. The pessimsit sees the hole.” –Oscar Wilde 

Happy Friday and… stay classy, Denver!