Three Quarts to a Gallon

The Congress in Peru recently approved a law saying that the internet companies have to provide at least 70% of the internet speed that they are selling.  This law was designed to improve what the companies provide, up from 40%.  My question all along has been, if I am paying 100%, why are they allowed to give me 40%?  Thankfully, now it is 70%, but I am still paying 100%.

Can someone explain to me why they don’t just say, “We can provide this level of service and will charge you this amount”?  It doesn’t change the internet speed; it just makes the transaction clear. Then, when they give me higher speeds, I will be thrilled!

What if other companies did that?  Can you imagine a dairy company selling you a gallon of milk and promising you that there will be at least three quarts?

Anyway, I wrote to La República and offered this commentary… that was not published.

Si Movistar te puede cobrar 100% y darte 70% (La República, 20 de mayo 2021), imagínate…

Después de confirmar la elevación de 40% a 70% la velocidad mínima de los servicios de internet por el Pleno del Congreso de la República, el vocero de Leches Gloria comentó, “Estamos muy de acuerdo.  De ahora en adelante vamos a rellenar nuestras cajas de un litro de leche con un mínimo de 700 ml.”  El coordinador del mercado de Santa Anita también apoyó la decisión del Congreso asegurando que pueden re-calibrar las balanzas para que cada casera reciba un mínimo de 700 gramos en cada kilo de fruta o verdura.  Toyota, por su parte, anunció que están considerando la posibilidad de poner 3 llantas en vez de 4 en cada auto vendido. Todavía tenían que conversarlo porque 3 llantas sería 75% y eso excede el 70% aprobado por el Congreso.

Imagínate.

I thought it was funny.  I also think that Peru has other priorities right now with the pandemic and the election.

Mindfulness as a Way of Life… Not Only When Being Mindful

Are you one of the mindful people?  I am.  Well, I try to be.  I love the ideas of presence and breathing and noticing and all those mindful things.  I know the best relaxation techniques; I use them personally and with my students.  I take time to notice those around me and the sensations within me.  Breathe.  Be present.

But what about the rest of the day?  If we can take 10 minutes to be mindful on purpose that is good.  How, though, can we keep mindfulness going as a way of life?

To begin with let’s stop being busy.  Some folks wear busyness as a badge of honor.  They don’t have time and can’t make time.  They fill their schedules and their children’s schedules with so much to do that there is no time to be bored.  I loved being bored as a kid- that’s when I was at my most creative, much to the chagrin of my parents.  We dug holes and drilled holes and played Evel Kenievel.  “Go outside and play” was never a punishment but a liberation: discover, wonder, create, and sometimes get in trouble.  How often do you go out and play, whatever that means for you now, with no plan nor agenda?

Then, let’s be aware of our screens.  How many screens do you have that keep you busy?  Computer? Tablet? Phone? Kindle?  Which Joneses do you feel a need to keep up with?  The news?  A TV show?  Facebook? Instagram? Twitter?  How much time does that leave for friends and family face-to-face?  In my case, not enough.  So, I am mindful of my screen time and am trying to reduce it.  It is hard, though, when the emails come at all hours and a friend is posting photos on Instagram of his new house in a new country.  With email at work I try not to send email from home or on weekends.  I cannot be present nor help others be present when I interrupt them with things that can wait.  Perhaps we can agree to fewer emails after hours and more face-to-face during hours.

Finally, let’s focus. We  know that multi-tasking is a myth yet we still try to do too much (if you are always busy you might be trying to do too much).  A Jack of all trades is a master of none.   Businesses speak of core competencies: what are the main products and services of your business?  If you try to do too many things you may do none well.  The core competency of schools is education.  Is your school doing too many other activities?  How many of them can be done by parents and members of the community so that teachers can focus on the education of the students?  Bringing in the wider community brings people together and actually builds community because it does take a village.

Let’s be mindful of how we live life: We only get one chance at today.  Name your priorities and live them knowing it is okay to say no.  Build community and make time.  Me?  I’m gonna go out and play and breathe and notice.