Skip to main content

There Is a Little Black Spot on the Sun Today

Dear Members and Constituents,
This morning I would like to discuss pain with you. I realize this is an odd topic, perhaps even taboo in our hedonistic society where “have fun” has become the new “see you later”. We don’t think about it. We don’t talk about it. We avoid it (except, perhaps, those who consider pain pleasurable). We even avoid people who are in it because it makes us feel uncomfortable. Lately, I’ve been considering the notion that a little pain in our lives may be good for us. Not only does it help us better appreciate good health, it also reminds us that in the grand scheme of things we are feeble transitory things. Perhaps the attitude prior generations held towards self-mortification as a way to keep the flesh in check has some merit. I must admit I find the notion of heroically enduring pain as a means to purification somewhat appealing. Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating self-flagellation or ritual injury (nor am I in favor of any sadomasochistic practice). I am simply suggesting a different attitude towards pain may be healthier than our current avoidance techniques.

At first blush, it seems easier to embrace certain kinds of pain. I consider this category “clean” pain (e.g. sharp pain coming from an external object). As I dig deeper, I find it harder to embrace the other, “dirty” pain (e.g. bowels, arthritis, lower back). I acknowledge this dirty pain probably has the same benefits to our psyche as clean pain. And what about enduring discomfort, heat, hunger, humidity, bad smells? Those too probably have some merit.

As we become more accepting of pain, our ability to appreciate pleasure should increase. Imagine you’ve just gotten over the pain from stubbing your toe when suddenly a sweet aroma comes wafting by. Your new awareness leads you down the hallway where you suddenly realize the source: donuts. Your heart races, your pupils dilate and your mouth starts to water. Scott Leif (donut boy) passes by you as a blur having delivered the bounty of four dozen donuts. You take a bite and your taste buds dance at the explosion of flavor reaching them. Fortunately, you don’t need to imagine… just come on down (to stubbing optional) and enjoy a donut (or two)

Happy Friday!

P.S. Another topic that is a bit painful for me is re-chartering the club every time we start a new rotation. Our current donut rotation goes through November 5th. Unless I hear otherwise from you over the next couple of weeks, I will assume those of you in the “to” line wish to continue your membership in the club.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Family and Friends

Friends,
I’m trying to maximize the time I spend with friends and family while in Ecuador. My dad had nine siblings, my wife’s dad 15. As you might imagine, my cousins and their families are fairly numerous (despite the fact five of my dad’s brothers didn’t marry or have children). Then there’s my wife’s family and my childhood friends. Needless to say, there is never enough time to see everyone, despite a valiant effort. Of course, I’m also working from “home”. Corny as it may sound, working half a world away, I realize I miss my Windstream “family” and I look forward to seeing you soon. In the meantime, there are donuts, here today courtesy of John Huddleston.  So, enjoy some comfort food with regards from my Cuenca family (pictured) to you!

White Flour Donuts of Color

Friends, As a whiteperson of color, I’ve always been somewhat irked by the compulsion to categorize people into neat boxes. Most people don’t fit neatly into boxes. When given a choice between “white” or “Hispanic” (check one), I realized these boxes provide a false choice.  Why does the government care what category I opt into? The way I see it, these questions on so many forms probably don’t cause division and social injustice, but they do keep the conversation going. I propose a write-in campaign (similar to elections). Most of these forms now contain an “Other” field where you can write-in your ethnic or racial background. What if we all wrote-in “Transracial”. If one or two of us do it, no big deal. If it catches-on, maybe someone will take notice and report on how silly this categorization variable is. Speaking of boxes, a dozen donut box is sitting in its usual spot, so come get your transracial self some sugar!
Happy Friday!

Of Mergers and Donuts

Friends, This week marked the completion of CenturyLink’s acquisition of Level 3. This transaction combines my most recent former employers accounting for 17 years of my career. It gives Level 3 the opportunity to rid itself of the brackets in its logo (the universal symbol for negative financial results) and CenturyLink the opportunity to rid itself of Glen Post.  As the two companies work to integrate, they will have several considerations to make. A name. If recent history is any indication, the name will likely be CenturyLink. Still, we in the peanut gallery like to contemplate the possibilities. Since a century is 100 years, why not combine the numbers in both companies’ names. How about we call the company 300 (100 x 3) --a valiant, yet doomed group of people.Integration. Having unofficially coined the terms red and blue network when executives said we have to stop using the terms Level 3 and Global Crossing networks, I feel like the conventio…