The Eggshell Generation: No Freedom for Danger Children

Life has changed for modern children.  When I was growing up in the Midwest, you sought freedom — and if it wasn’t granted with a bicycle, then you found other, more nefarious ways, to run away and play far away from your doorstep.

It isn’t that way any longer.  Today, kids are protected and driven and supervised in organized sports and cultural events.  There’s no spontaneity now because there’s fear of the unknown and danger in the creative.  No sandlot baseball.  No football games with self-set boundaries and special scoring.  Everything is regulation.  There can be no divergence from the norm.

We’re creating a society of young people who are risk-averse and too frightened to set their own agendas and follow their own, unblazed, pathway. Fun is the new mysterious stranger. “Do what you want” is the new monster under the bed.

Continue reading → The Eggshell Generation: No Freedom for Danger Children

No Dice When it Comes to Elevator Etiquette

How we behave in empty spaces — and then how we behave in those same spaces when others join us — has always been a fascination of mine.  There’s an “Elevator Dice Theory” arguing that people fill up that confined space in a predictable pattern that models a die face.  One person stands in the center.  Two people take opposing corners.  Three people stand in a diagonal row, and so on.

Continue reading → No Dice When it Comes to Elevator Etiquette

Why Taking Turns Creates a Strong Society

Taking turns is one of the most important — yet underused and underappreciated — totems of social living.  I’m not talking about, “It’s My Turn!” as in the clarion call of a self-centered existence when it comes to job promotion or marriage tying; I’m talking about public moments in society when we are confronted against each other and there’s a moment of wondering if I should go or if you should go — and it seems we have an ever-deepening problem with being strong enough, and confident enough, to let the other person go first and subsume our own personal entitlements for the goodness of making things actually work between people with warring wants.

Continue reading → Why Taking Turns Creates a Strong Society

How to Be Rude on the Subway

In the beautiful city of New York there are regularly millions of people trying to get from one place to another — the most affordable of which has to be the New York subway system. If all the people who rode the subway system would abide by even half of the rules that are announced over the loudspeaker, everything would run a lot more smoothly. Since, for some reason, people don’t want to follow the rules, allow me to introduce some more rules — rules of how to be rude while riding on the subway.

Continue reading → How to Be Rude on the Subway

The Chinese Subway Fire Drill

I was ready to write a humor based article on how you can gauge the importance of a subway service announcement from how easy it is to understand it — the more important the announcement, the more likely that it will be garbled and impossible to understand. This is despite the fact that many service announcements are pre-recorded and have been for awhile.

Continue reading → The Chinese Subway Fire Drill

From Manhattan to Brooklyn: Finding a New Way on the Subway

September 1st was my first day of riding the subway to work. Up until now, the Long Island Railroad was the most efficient way to get to my office, time wise. It only took seventeen minutes or so on the Long Island Railroad and I was a short walk away from the office. In just a few short days that will be changing as my office is relocating to Brooklyn — the DUMBO section of Brooklyn, specifically. There is no direct Long Island Railroad (LIRR) route there, and taking the LIRR and transferring to a subway would save about ten minutes and cost one hundred dollars more. This is, of course, unacceptable with baby Davidescu on the way. With that in mind, I could not help but notice many differences between the two train lines.

Continue reading → From Manhattan to Brooklyn: Finding a New Way on the Subway

Sleepless from Seattle: Being Your Own Captive Audience

Several people had already told me as much, but it was only about a few hours into the flight that the real insanity of this trip really dawned on me. As far as I know, I am going to be spending more time on the way to the airport, back from the airport, and on the airplane than I will be spending at the actual place I am visiting. This seems like madness.

Continue reading → Sleepless from Seattle: Being Your Own Captive Audience