Thursday, September 9, 2010


Growing up, my ears became synchronized with Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 Countdown radio program. I particularly always loved his signature sign-off “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars….”
Generally speaking, most people know what this means. But rarely do people apply it once their hands actually catch a star they reach for. I’ve seen many talented people throw away the very star they catch simply because they forgot to keep their feet on the ground… they forgot to stay grounded, and stay rock solid and in touch with where they came from. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of good news, great opportunities and possibilities and lose sight of what matters, especially when clouds roll in and you can no longer see the stars.

I observed the behavior of squirrels recently. It was here the message became very clear. When the squirrels find nuts, they stash them away to enjoy later. But they never give up searching, looking and working hard to find more nuts or take the one nut for granted assuming it will be enough to sustain them. This is not greed. This is preparation for survival.

Once they have inventory, while it may seem like hoarding, they are not hoarding really. I watched a squirrel befriend another and share the supply. I also became mesmerized when I saw that this same squirrel observed the boredom of another and ‘played catch’ with a nut in its shell, rolling it back and forth between himself and the other squirrel. Shortly thereafter, he was back out there gathering once again.

What this demonstrated was how the ‘workaholic’ squirrel still managed to keep his feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars…. Er…nuts. He took a time out to connect with his peers on a genuine level of generosity, giving of himself, before going back out there to pound the rocks/pavement of life. What he managed to do was strike a balance between work and social. And he didn’t rely up on social networking to do it. There was no Facebook. No Twitter. It was real connection.

I believe that while technology is great, that sometimes we forget the lost art of the social fundamental tools without technology of staying rock solid and in touch. Educators will tell you that kids today are lacking social skills of real conversation in real time in person and that they do not know how to communicate their needs face-to-face.
And in a world where we can go a whole day without in-person connection, this worries me about future generations and their ability to get along in the world unplugged.

There are people who live in places with severe weather conditions who go for days without power. There are people who live in places where the culture is about sitting on the porch and connecting with other human beings about life. There are people who live in places where they cannot afford the luxuries of online connection or even have the time to be on the Internet 24/7. My only hope is that these people are the ones who re-educate our society that you can actually have a conversation with your own family at the dinner table by opening your mouth and talking after you’ve kept it closed chewing your food, rather than Facebooking and Tweeting the fact you won your soccer game today.

It’s been awhile since I last blogged. But I have been practicing what I just preached. I unplugged. I think sometimes that’s how the world should be.

Stay rock solid. Keep your feet on the ground. Don't forget where you came from. Stay in touch while you gather your stash of nuts. Try unplugging and getting a little squirrely... it can be liberating.

© 2010 Queena Verbosity 100% Real Words
Media Monster Communications, Inc.
Stacey Kumagai

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