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The Space Between

I was warned this week that men were going to try to hold my hand.

Seriously.

I’m in Africa right now and one of the trip leaders told me to expect that grown men might try to take me by hand as we were walking together.  They also told me not to worry about it because it’s a perfectly normal thing for an African man to do with his friend.

This didn’t make me any less anxious, mostly because I’m not an African man.

It made me think about what I would do if an African man took me by the hand while we are walking…

Would I instinctively flinch?

I don’t want to be offensive.

Would I just act naturally?

How do you act naturally?

I’ve never held hands, as a grown man, with another grown man before.

What’s the protocol?

Do I swing my arms?

How hard should I grip?

Who’s thumb goes on top?

Will we interlock our fingers?

What do I do when our hands get sweaty?

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO LET GO?

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Taking Your Name Back

Flynetpictures

The long awaited divorce of Courtney and David Arquette has finally been booked. Both parties amicably filed the necessary papers this week, each set of documents mirroring the other in all but one regard:

Courteney Cox Arquette is asking for her name back.

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An Expensive Silence

Photo: Alexander

I think that “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” has been replaced as the American Ideal.  I’m not saying that we don’t value these things anymore, I just think that we’ve superceded those older ideals with a newer one:  “Get it now, spend the rest of your life paying it off.”

In many places in the world you can only get what you want after working in advance; cash or barter can be the only ways to receive goods or services.  In America we have the privilege to borrow against time.  People will give us what we want now if we are just willing to pay a little more for it over the long haul.

While this isn’t always a bad thing, it can become problematic when we decide we want an additional something before we’ve “paid off” the last thing we borrowed to get.  In short, we begin stockpiling unaddressed debt over time.

I’m not speaking in merely financial terms either.

We stay up late,

…”morning” will suffer the consequences.

We agree to partnerships,

…before we know someone’s character.

We get married,

…hoping to fix relationship issues later.

We worry about our kids,

…but keep putting off hard conversations

The snowballing effect of “un-reconciled issues” can build to a fever pitch where we find ourselves paralyzed- unable to make any forward progress because of the weight of our baggage.  It’s the sign of living beyond our means.

While we know what this looks like financially; the past 4 years have demonstrated that borrowing huge sums of money to be paid back over 30 years doesn’t actually put a family ahead but ties it down and strips it of vitality over time,

We are mostly clueless to what living above our means emotionally costs.

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