Archive for May, 2017

I remember it well. There was a field and a slight rise there that I always noticed whenever we used to drive by it when I was a child. I would be bored in the car and used to imagine someone on a dirt bike pacing us as we drove. That was one of my favorite places to watch my dirt bike rider jump. It was like that video game that I would play. He would go soaring through the air and land smoothly, so long as you didn’t let his engine overheat. I’m not sure if my parents ever understood why I would stare out the window so much when we drove. I’m not sure that it mattered to them. At least I wasn’t reading all of the road signs out loud. That was the other thing that I would do to pass the time.

I finally realized today what they are doing there. A road is being cut through that field. They have already blasted through that rise so that the road can remain level.For a brief moment I pictured the dirt bike jumping over the gap from one side of the unfinished road to the other. I wasn’t able to complete the jump. I’m the one driving the car now, so staring out the window isn’t a very safe idea. I check the rearview mirror and see my own son in the back seat. He isn’t looking out of the window. His nose is buried in a book. I love that he enjoys reading so much, but part of me was hoping to see him staring with his eyes going up and down as he imagines every jump. I know that in a few months, he will see a new road there with some buildings being put up along it. He won’t even remember what it looked like before the road started to be built. He’s young. The world is always changing for him. I guess what bothers me is that in a few months, I will see the new road and buildings being put up along it, and I may not remember what it looked like before that either.


Ok. I have to confess this. I’m sure that it will change many people’s opinions of me, but it must be said. I have a fidget spinner. There I said it. Even worse, I gave my child a fidget spinner. I know. I deserve your looks of anger and resentment.

I have to say something else as well. I like my fidget spinner. My son’s fidget spinner helps him be less of a distraction. I keep my fidget spinner close by. It helps me focus. That’s right. My entire family is one of “them.” We are the people that keep these ridiculous types of objects on the market. We are to blame.

The thing about the fidget spinner that amazes me is not how quickly that it took off, or even the backlash against it by parents, educators (my coworkers have given me no end to grief), and the public at large. What amazes me about it is how well it works without doing anything amazing. It just spins. There is nothing profound about it. Still, that simple spinning can do wonders that the most unique or profound objects, thoughts, or writing can never do.

I worry that as a society in general (and writers in particular) we expect everything to be profound. I am extremely guilty of this. Rather than using a blog to just put some thoughts out there and to speak my mind, I feel that every time I put something on my blog that it should teach something important. Everything that I say should make somebody reading it on their computer stop what they are doing and just look off into space for a moment and say, “Whoah!” in their best Bill and Ted voice. Why? What makes me think that everything must be profound? Is it because I think that only the profound ever stand out? I suppose that is why I like my fidget spinner so much. A life lesson learned from something so simplistic that many people hate it, just because it is so simplistic.

So, if you haven’t tried a fidget spinner, go out and get a good one, hold it with two fingers, and give it a spin. Rock it back and forth as it’s spinning. See if you don’t feel the urge to spin it again as it slows down. Most importantly, learn the lesson of the fidget spinner: everything you do or write doesn’t have to be profound. Simplicity has its own appeal. Even if people are talking about how simplistic it is, they are still talking about it!



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