It's been a weekend of learning about things that are important and not important.
It began with something that has become commonplace to the modern landscape of life: People driving with cell phones in their hands. To these people: News flash -- you are not that important (and you don't drive as well on your phone as you do off it - really, you don't). So that call you're on that's making you drive erratically at 30 MPH in a 45 MPH zone and endangering (or at least inconveniencing) the lives of other people is not important enough. If it's that important, take the call off the road. If that's inconvenient to you, then the call isn't that important, right?
Good customer service is important. Tonight I had a nice dinner with friends at County Line BBQ at 2222/360 in Austin. I don't mind putting a plug in for these fine folks because virtually every time I eat there, they treat me and my family/friends wonderfully. The food is always good, and the service is usually good, but tonight the service was great. I told our waiter so. Everyone gets a tip these days (he got a very good one from me tonight). I'm sure that this waiter though went home feeling pretty good because someone actually told him what a great job he did. It's important to keep that going. In this fast-paced profit-motivated world we live in today not enough emphasis is placed on doing what's right.
This weekend I spent a lot of time talking to a friend about relationships (partly instigated by the entry I did on "baggage"). In fact, she and I spoke until 3 in the morning about that and for both of us that was an important conversation. Some of us just don't have a lot of good experience with the opposite sex. So if you're one of those people (I am) and you want to do the right thing, how do you figure out what to do? Both of us are going through a period of difficulty in our lives trying to let go of some baggage and to be open to finding someone new (one of us longer than the other). It is important to have the affection of someone else. It's also important for that affection to be genuine and honest or else hurt feelings and baggage results. There isn't any way I can compress that whole 5-hour conversation into words here. Suffice to say that I've been left with a lot to think about. It's important to listen to what others say. You can learn something that way.
It's not important to read literature regularly to be considered intelligent. Among the more intellectual of my circle of friends seems to have this attitude that reading books makes you a better person. Now I have no problem with reading, but if you'd rather see the movie than read the book, what in hell's wrong with that? I need to read a lot in my profession/hobby and don't have the patience to sit and read a book when I get home. So to all you people who feel everyone should be reading a book: I say take the time to remove MS-Windows from your computer and install Linux. Don't know how to use Linux? Go read a book on it.
It is important to read something once in a while, though. This commentary counts.
It's important to maintain connections to people. By connections, I mean real connections, not virtual ones through instant messaging (etc). We've become a society of people finding ways to shut ourselves off from the real world. People walk around with headphones in their ears either listening to music or talking to someone on the phone. It may seem like talking on the phone is staying connected, but in truth it is actually shutting you off from everything else going on around you. We lock ourselves into our homes and throw everything that is bothering us (the barking dog, for example) out into the back yard to irritate someone else. After all, if I don't hear it, nobody else does (insert sarcasm). We make ourselves available to anyone with a cell phone, but when that call comes in we forget that we came to sit, talk, and eat lunch with a friend. I think in our quest to make ourselves more connected, we've become less connected. It's important to disconnect for a while and connect to what's really going on. It's a big world out there. It's important for us to see it if we're ever going to strive to make it better.
...and on that note, I'm going to disconnect and see how some friends are doing on their three-week road trip. Have a great weekend.