Food for Thought

A Great Time to be ALIVE

Over the past handful of weeks I’ve received emails or other sorts of notifications about new types of services (and technology) that’s available for my use – and I have to admit that now that I am looking these options over, it’s a bit mind-boggling! But boggling in a good way of course.  There’s just SO MUCH out there intended to assist us in our day to day living and new conveniences seem to be showing up each day in my inbox.  I will be the first to admit that when not used properly, many (if not most) of these conveniences can contribute to a sense of laziness or even a lack of knowledge regarding how to do things on our own, the old fashioned way!

This is my shameless opportunity to plug the practice of virtues (yes, that again!) such as moderation, temperance, patience, and the like. 

So let’s list a few of these advantages or modern marvels of convenience that can assist us when properly used or spoil us when we tend to be a glutton for convenience.  I’ll name just 3 or 4 of the most recent that have caught my attention.

  1. Uber Eats – an uber that can pick up your dinner from a place that doesn’t deliver, and yes, then deliver it to your door.
  2. Prime Now – the ability to shop at places like Whole Foods and have your order delivered, courtesy of Amazon.
  3. Curbside Express (Giant Eagle) – shop from the convenience of the website or app, schedule a pick-up day and time, then park and have your groceries brought out to your vehicle and loaded up.  Just roll down the window and make payment.
  4. Smart Home – this could include anything from the home automation craze such as a Nest thermostat or smart lights that you can control with an app or your Alexa device.

So convenient, right?  You don’t really have to worry about bumping into people you don’t want to see if your groceries can be delivered to the home or the trunk of your car. No more searching the frequently rearranged aisles of the grocery store.  Make someone else do it for you! Get up to turn that light off or on?  Forget it!

Now, I have faith that all of you can see how services such as these can make us a little more self-centric and cut off from our community.  It let’s us focus on convenience and our own priorities.  I can order a pizza, adjust my lighting, shut my garage door, grocery shop, and call a family member without EVER leaving my recliner!

Yet, we know that too much ‘me-time’ can have a detrimental effect both mentally and physically as well as socially.  But let me shed some light on why services such as these can be great for so many.  I want to do that with a story.

Several weeks ago I broke a bone in my foot — quite painful — and unfortunately, very inconvenient.  I had to wear a stiff orthopedic sort of mini-boot or shoe to prevent bending of the foot and toes and for the first couple of weeks, it was rough working all day.  I was struggling to get through the hours when I had to be on my feet for a significant amount of time.  When I was leaving, all I could think about was getting home and propping up that foot because it was throbbing and simply screaming at me.  Any and all other activity was the furthest thing from my mind, including shopping.  But as the days and weeks passed, my kitchen began to resemble the home of someone you might be familiar with; Old Mother Hubbard and her empty cupboards.  It was then that I remembered that new service “Curbside Express” and I thought I would give it a shot.

I filled my virtual cart with basic staples that I knew I needed and would use and as I sat in the parking lot at my self-selected pick up time, I was close to tears, so incredibly relieved that I didn’t have to go into the store and painfully hobble up and down the aisles, increasing my misery.  It was a great mood lifter!  And when the groceries were brought to my car I gushed to the employee about how grateful I was for the service.

That’s when I really started thinking about about how wonderful these conveniences can be for those who are injured, who have recently had surgery, who are shut-ins, who suffer from ailments like arthritis or a myriad of other issues that make shopping or just simply getting around more difficult – whether occasionally or all of the time.  But how wonderful to be able to take back some control – to (in a pinch) be able to still do what needs to be done, in a way that is convenient despite lack of mobility.  These little modern marvels of convenience are truly a Godsend.  So I am grateful as I am sure many others are as well.  But remember:  moderation is the key.  Use them when you truly need them.  When you don’t, exercise your brain and your body and up your social game by going back to the old-fashioned way of doing things.  I am not an advocate of increasing your ‘screen time’, whether it’s on your lap top or your phone, but when we treat these things as tools to ASSIST us, or our loved ones, in times of need – I am totally on board.

What a great time to be ALIVE!


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