Archive for November 2015

How Long is a Long Time?

November 23, 2015

by Dr. Steven J. Callis

They advertised that is was long lasting. Apparently, my definition of long lasting differs from theirs. Certainly it is a relative term. The claimed it is also circumstantial depending on the frequency and quantity of usage. They really are not to blame, however, as there are other battery brands that make a similar assertions.

In fact, batteries are not the only product on the market that boasts of endurance. Many products in the cosmetics line consistently use the term “long lasting” in promoting their products; lipstick, eyeliner, eye shadow, and even perfume. Then there are building products such as siding, shingles, and lumber. A certain brand of kitty litter claims to have long lasting odor control, and I even saw an ad for a “long lasting temporary tattoo.”

That reminded me of when I was a kid and my mom would make an appointment to get a permanent put in her hair. I was puzzled as to why she had to go back a couple of weeks later to have it done again. I thought she should get a refund and find a new salon! The truth is that she was making an appointment to get a temporary.

It is not a regular practice for me to junk the old and replace with new when the old continues to function satisfactorily. I have had my GPS for 7 years. I had no plans to purchase one, but it was gifted to me by a friend. It has cost me lost time on occasion, but for the most part it has been a worthwhile and helpful companion on the road.

It began to “act up” last Friday night in downtown Atlanta and I spent 45 minutes trying to find I-20 on my own. The diagnosis is fatal; there is no cure for its malady. I mourned to the service technician, “But it’s only 7 years old, just a baby!” He was not amused, and in fact seemed surprised that I had kept it so long!

A man being interviewed was asked how long he expected to live. His reply was thoughtful: “For the rest of my life.” The Psalmist wrote about the limited time each of us has on earth, and exhorted his readers to make the most of every day while the opportunity is before us. For me, I want to do the best I can with what I have while I have it (and while it still works!) in this world. Let’s work together to better our community.

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