Thoroughly Thursday - the "Being Kind to Strangers" Edition


Welcome back to Thoroughly Thursday, the "Being Kind to Strangers" edition. I'm a bit scared of "strangers". Not in the “cowering-don't-take-candy-from” way, but rather, I'm always a bit on guard interacting with people I don't know. As much as I think it's easy to blame the nightly news, horror films or violent TV programs for our fear of our neighbors, I think the far more prevalent reason may be the banal ways that strangers can put us on edge: that neighbor that pummels you with her disjointed Amway pitch, the dinner-time phone call offering you expanded cable service, the jerk that honks at you FOR NO REASON before driving away in a huff. It's easy to get jaded. However, I'm trying hard to remember that for every inconsiderate person I have to engage with (SERIOUSLY, I WAS PARKING! ENOUGH WITH THE HORN!) I have dozens of perfectly pleasant interactions every day with those I don't know. I hope you can say the same (even you, Mean Old Lady in the white Camry).  

What I'm Reading - Being Rude is the New Flu
This week I'm reading a great book called F U Very Much by Danny Wallace. After an unfortunate restaurant experience which became known as the "Hotdog Incident", Wallace decided to research how rudeness affects us in big and small ways. After interviewing social scientists, psychologists and neurologists he found that rudeness has a huge impact in how we do our jobs, interact with the people around us, and how charitable we feel to others. One of the most profound findings is that rudeness is often like a virus, in that a person being rude to you (or you witnessing rudeness) makes you far more likely to be rude to others and/or assume that others are being the same. Unfortunately, our culture unfortunately celebrates rude celebrities, rude politicians, and rude celebrity politicians, which makes the problem worse. 

What I'm Reading (Article) - Home is Where the Heart Is
In my small town of South Pasadena, CA, a handful of us parents ran a campaign to promote a parcel tax renewal that helps support our local schools. During the campaign, I realized how lucky I felt to be part of my tiny community. As it turns out a recent article in the Guardian talks about how an English village dramatically reduced emergency room visits by getting local citizens to help combat isolation of older and sicker members of their town. Interestingly, one of the most common elements of super-longevity areas of the world, often called Blue Zones, are that they usually have incredibly inclusive cultures which keep people active and engaged throughout their lives. Though, we have a tendency to obsess on drinking red wine or guzzling olive oil, the best way to stay healthy and happy is probably to host a BBQ

What I'm Learning - So, How Many Wigs Will This Win Me?
A couple weeks ago, my friend Jon posted a picture of his new board game. I have a love/hate relationship with board games. I get enthralled with them but I have the attention span of a small, spastic animal. The game is called Lisboa, it's beautiful, ridiculously, gloriously complicated, and took hours to play this weekend. For me, the best part is just listening to Jon explain all the rules (which there are many) since I forgot since the last time we played. The second best part was that Lori brought beer (which may have been a factor in the forgetting). 

What I'm Listening to - Baby's Best Soundtrack
Baby Driver was probably one of my favorite movies for 2017. I'm a huge Edgar Wright nerd anyway, but the excellent casting and fantastic car scenes made it above average. What made the movie excellent was the way that music was incorporated as an additional character within the film. As you might expect, the soundtrack stands up just fine on it's own.   

All the best, and remember, tomorrow is Friday. :)

Scott Moe

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P.P.S. Check out these great photos of the real-live town of Jiufen, Taiwan which may (or may not) have been the inspiration for Miyazaki's Spirited Away