Viva La Revolution
This morning I was at the gas station. While I was standing outside my car (no static electricity for me, thanks...I'm not paranoid), I looked at the little ad buddy above the pump. It was an ad for mini Coopers. Here (more or less) is what it said...
DOES "PAY-AT-THE-PUMP" MAKE US LONELIER?
Next time you get gas, go inside to pay. Talk to the cashier. Ask them the craziest thing they have ever seen at work. They'll probably have a great story. Or they may say, "Here's your change." Either way, it's just good to talk to people.
I was so happy. This is something that I first really started thinking about when my brother's prof brought it up in his Christian Ethics class. Even though all this convenience stuff (pay-at-the-pump, self-checkout at the grocery store, redbox dvds, self-checkout at the library)is supposed to be for convenience, it ultimately succeeds in cutting out a lot of interaction in our days (depending on the day, and how much money we have to spend that day). I realize that the usual discourse is...
"Hello" (my personal favorite greeting)
"How's it going?"
"Well, have a good day."
"Thanks, you too."
But part of why our interaction is so lame is our lack of experience in interacting due to all our "conveniences." I'm not suggesting that this is the sole culprit. This has been a problem for a long time (see the film Good Morning). But we need to become better conversationalists. Take the time to really interact with the people at the grocery store.
This is something I'm still working on myself. For the sake of honesty, I have to admit that I read this just after I had paid at the pump. I guess my point is that we do all this stuff to save time, but it doesn't really save us that much time. With the four extra minutes I saved by not going inside, I was able to sit at work today four extra minutes. Not really worth it.
My grounding for all of this is that I believe we were created to interact. It's the way the Trinity works, and that's what I think part of the Imago Dei is. If our conversations start out worthless, it gives us a place to improve. What what.