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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Call for Change

You’ve seen her, haven’t you? Juggling a cigarette, cell phone and coffee mug, she makes a turn at a busy intersection. Unaware that anyone else is around, she takes way too long to maneuver the turn, and we miss the green light. People who use their cell phones while driving cause accidents that could otherwise be avoided. While hands-free devices make turning easier, there is little focus and concentration on driving.
Although signs are posted in restaurants, doctor’s offices and other places of business requesting customers or patients to turn off their cell phones, people still use them. Imagine the frustration of a medical assistant ready to take a woman’s blood pressure who refuses to get off her cell phone. Then the same woman becomes furious because the doctor takes another patient who is not on a cell phone.
Cell phones have become a menace as much as a help to business. Every employee seems to have one, and when it rings, it holds priority over the business phone, usually for personal calls. Musical rings and vibrations that sound like an old man snoring bring distractions to the workplace environment. However, if the vibrating phone is on the person, the snoring sound isn’t audible. The employees may not even be talking, but text-messaging their friends. They do this openly at their desks, in the copy rooms or lunch rooms.
Employees have also developed a fascination for their e-mail and the Internet. People who work at computers cannot resist the cute little pop-ups that let them know their friends have sent them a message. While they are working on their computers, it’s easy for them to jump off the data entry screen and click on the friendly pop-up to respond. Countless hours of productivity are lost through this seemingly secret mode of communication. While employees sign agreements that they will not abuse company time and equipment, it happens way too often.
Something needs to change. What will it take to encourage people to change their focus from themselves long enough to perform an honest day’s work? Since I work in this kind of environment, and I feel that it’s an impossible situation, I began to pray for change. Strangely God didn’t change the people who abuse the system. He started with me. “What can I do?” I asked Him. This is what He said: “You asked to be a blessing to someone today. Be a blessing to them.”
Well, I wasn’t ready to be a blessing to them, but I didn’t want to say “no” to God, so I waited, and He showed me these three things: (1) Don’t judge them, (2) Be gentle and merciful to them, and (3) set a good example for them to follow. “This is hard,” I told God, and then I thought about Judas betraying Jesus with a kiss. Although change is important, cell phone and e-mail abuse seemed small compared to what Jesus endured. Lord, help me be more like Jesus.

5 comments:

DiDo said...

Sue, very well written. I couldn't agree more with what you are saying about cell phone abuse. Tonight as I pushed a grocery cart around a store, myself and many others were subjected to a young woman speaking very loudly to "Jerry". I had to give her credit she was having a very in depth conversation with him while moving along the aisle picking up items, checking them out, placing them back on the shelf or in the cart, never losing a beat in the conversation. How could I tell? We could hear his side of the conversation as well and I am sure that he did not know he was being overheard or he would not have said some of the things he said!
I consider this abuse too. Abuse of my personal shopping "space".
We have accepted so many electronic changes over the years and this is just another one that probably will not go away.
Like you said, I need to be more like Jesus and not judge. And it is a small inconveniemce in light of what Jesus endured for us.

InspiredWriter said...

I've seen her, alright! In the mirror! I don't smoke, and I avoid coffee, but the juggling is very familiar to me.

No, I don't waste company time on the cell phone or email, but I do use my cell phone to make calls when I am running to school to pick up my children. This provides me with 30 minutes of conversation that I would not otherwise have.

I also multi-task by talking on the phone while folding laundry, doing the dishes, making beds, etc. Shopping at Costco takes me about an hour and it is a great time to check in with my family by phone. I try to be discreet and talk quietly, so others are not part of the conversation. But that is what cell phones are for, right? Keeping in contact with others while we go about our daily lives.

I don't think the fault lies with the so-called modern conveniences. I think the problem is that we have too many choices today, too many activities and too little ability to say "no." The result is that we are constantly on the go, which creates isolation. We try to remedy that by staying connected to those we love. By cell phone, text messaging and email. It doesn't work well because we can really only give so much attention to the conversation while attending to other tasks, such as driving.

As a writer, I don't usually mind having people around me talking on the cell phone. I just jot down the more "interesting" dialogue for future reference for a novel I hope to one day write!

Sue, I like your blog!!

Susan said...

I was driving one day, right after I got my first cell phone. I'd forgotten it. I was going to a very much needed counseling appointment and I wondered, 'what if I got in an accident & couldn't call ahead to cancel'? Next week, I had my cell & there were 3 accidents that closed the freeway so that I couldn't get to my much needed appointment. I used my phone. Since that day, I found the best time to catch up on my calls is in the car because I don't get interruptions! I've found the time and convenience works great for me, so I try to be understanding of others, not knowing their situations. Life, I think, throws us enough trials that we soon learn the Lord loved us by suffering on our behalf and we will learn to love others by suffering on their behalf.

Thanks for sharing Sue. The Lord of LOVE is growing all of us up!

Susan said...

I was driving one day, right after I got my first cell phone. I'd forgotten it. I was going to a very much needed counseling appointment and I wondered, 'what if I got in an accident & couldn't call ahead to cancel'? Next week, I had my cell & there were 3 accidents that closed the freeway so that I couldn't get to my much needed appointment. I used my phone. Since that day, I found the best time to catch up on my calls is in the car because I don't get interruptions! I've found the time and convenience works great for me, so I try to be understanding of others, not knowing their situations. Life, I think, throws us enough trials that we soon learn the Lord loved us by suffering on our behalf and we will learn to love others by suffering on their behalf.

Thanks for sharing Sue. The Lord of LOVE is growing all of us up!

Marie said...

Sue, I've always felt you are more like Jesus than anyone I know! You are also a great writer...I can't wait to read more, and am so very excited as we progress into this new stage of our friendship.