δῶς μοι πᾶ στῶ καὶ τὰν γᾶν κινάσω

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XXXVIII

I woke up this morning and didn’t feel any older, but according to the calendar, I’m now 38 years old — which is weird, just yesterday I was 37. But now I’m 38, another year closer to 40. This is supposed to upset me, but it really doesn’t. As I’ve said previously, I think I’m going to get better as I get older.

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Some things I’ve learned in 38 years…

I was born July 12, 1976. Saturday marks my 38th birthday. Turning 38 is one of those deceptively innocuous birthdays. Because there’s not social standing or stigma associated with it, one tends to overlook its significance.

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Guard well that treasure within you

They say you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar, but who wants to catch flies? I think the lesson is it’s easier to draw people by being sweet than sour, but it falls apart when you consider flies typically congregate around dead things. The saying should be, you can catch more flies with a corpse than you can with insecticide. But I suppose it doesn’t have quite the same bumper-sticker value.

Either way, there’s something fundamentally important about treating people well. How would your life be different if you stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? What if, instead of always assuming the negative, you gave your fellow man the benefit of the doubt? Dare you hope for the best in others, instead of assuming the worst?

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An open letter to the 2014 Overton Mustangs

Men, I hate to break it to you, but your fate is sealed. Yeah, the experts all agree: the 2014 Overton Mustangs will finish “next to last” in District 11-2A competition and thus will be unable to reach the playoffs. It’s written down somewhere, so it must be true… right? Surely these people know what they’re talking about. C’mon, if Dave Campbell’s Texas Football and TheOldCoach.com’s Friday Night Football say it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen. Right? Obviously they’ve done the research and looked at all the evidence to come to an objective outlook on the coming year.

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Writing our county’s story… in progress

There’s an old Russian folk tale about a farmer who goes to the village wise man complaining his house is too small for his wife and their 10 children. The wise man tells him to invite his in-laws to move in, and to bring his farm animals into the house as well. The farmer complies, and returns promptly the next day, informing the wise man that his problems are even worse. The wise man then instructs the farmer to send away his in-laws, and put the animals back outside. Again, the farmer returns, and marvels to the wise man how spacious and clean his house is now.

If you’ve ever worked at a newspaper (and during your time at that newspaper you’ve ever worked on a Progress Edition) you know exactly what I’m talking about.

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Longest day of the year… not long enough

It all goes so fast. Saturday is the first day of summer, the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.

Where we live, here at the 32nd parallel in Texas, the sun rose at 6:13 a.m. and set at 8:29 p.m. There was close to 16 hours of daylight Saturday. Sunday the day shortens by at least ten seconds, which means little by little the daylight hours will dwindle. Saturday marks the first “official” day of summer — the first day of the astronomical summer — when the sun’s apparent position is at its farthest point north from the equator.

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Put down the device, live in the moment

The advent of social media has revolutionized not only how we document our lives, but how we live them. Look around. It’s not uncommon now for many of us to fill Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds with our everyday comings and goings.

Granted, I’m the last one to suggest all-out social media abstinence. Those of you who have me on your “Friends” list know I’m a regular purveyor of 140-character Twitter witticisms, artsy-filtered Instagram photos, and the occasional ideological debate on Facebook. But it is possible to have too much of a good thing, way too much of a mediocre thing, or diabolically too much of a trivial thing.

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