Today in 1985, Coke, tried to introduce a “new coke” to replace coca-cola. There was so much a negative response that the company put the original formula back on the shelves less than three months later. I open today with this because often times I forget the good that my actions and habits produce to look for the next thing. There is always going to be pop psychology or quick fix “solutions” that will wander before your eyes and tempt you to stray the course. In the last few years there have been many books that are touted as the solution to life, or the best way to change your life. Many people, me included, have read these and found them of some use. I read a lot, but honestly I am very critical and tend to read only books recommended by individuals I respect or individuals whom I dislike. The rationale being that if I respect you, I will accept your opinion on whether or not something is good. If I do not like you, I will read what you are reading to potentially give me an insight as to why you are the way you are, maybe I will understand why you are that way and not be as critical. The dilemma is when people exclusively read Sports Illustrated or Cosmo (tabloids); the lack of enthusiasm to learn about the world or obtain any substantive knowledge is lacking. It saddens me when I meet people I have not seen for years. I recall them as brilliant and vibrant. After a conversation I see that they gave up on learning simply being happy with the scraps life throws their way. I think that consumerism tricks Americans of all ages to be mind numb idiots who live tabloid to tabloid, or advertisement to advertisement. Everyone seems to be inducing you to buy what you do not need or want what you cannot have. But why are we always tempted by the greener grass on the other side? I think I am grown enough to know that the grass is the same, a fence does not change it; it is what I do when I am on it that matters. I had a really good conversation yesterday. It was so refreshing to see that being “old school” is not a bad thing. I open doors and walk on the street side of curbs; does that make me weird? No, it just makes me myself. I am calmer now than I have been in years and I take my time. I appreciate different perspectives a little better because I have been in many ways forced too. In school we have read so many opinions that I personally think were decided incorrectly, but they have validity none the less. Reading different things; both good and bad, has been beneficial for me since it made me escape the consumerism box that ads and TV place you in (i.e. I have no time to watch TV). I know that many people do not have that benefit, but it is not an excuse. God knows I am an idiot so he places me where he thinks I can best help myself or others. Those that read this blog know, you are smart and charming but sometimes…just like me…you get lazy and complacent. We don’t even notice when it happens until all of the sudden you want to live beyond your means or you are happy to have an expensive item knowing that (1) you can’t afford it (2) your goals are now material things and your future looks dark and cloudy. I saw an ad off the 10 freeway, lol, it was for a bank; “funny, there is no savers remorse.” I am not saying to save and become a stingy person, not at all. I am saying that you should seek to make yourself better every day, so that those who come after you are not slaves to the same vices you were. Save those things that make you unique! Why settle for being part of the crowd? If you want to spoil yourself, do it. But know that you are deciding to do so; do not let media and advertisers tell you what to want! Grow a pair and handle your business. New is not always better, Coke learned it, sometimes those “old things” that are part of your personality are exactly what they should be. We may be too nearsighted to notice we have been walking on the right path the whole time.