Thursday, January 17, 2013

Life Is A Highway... Now, Where's My Map?

Chris's View-

Hello, my name is Chris, and I am a slave to technology!

Yesh, I push my Poindexter glashes up my noshe and grab the besht gadget I can find.  (Sorry, that's how I hear my geeky self in my head... I have a speech problem, sue me!)  

My friend "Fudge"... he's a singer (and if you don't think singing is manly, look up Barry White!)... was singing a piece of a song yesterday at work, "I don't know where I'm going, but I sure know where I've been."  It got me thinking about cars, maps, cross country road trips, even road signs.  Men and cars and driving go together like, well, I'd say peanut butter & jelly, but that's so cliche and honestly, some folks don't like one or the other... how about men and cars go together like marathons & pain.  Yeah, I like that one... nice and manly!  Anyway, I touched on it a little in my first New Year Resolution (NYR) blog about how men have lost skills that were inherent of being a man.  One of those skills that was lost is the ability to read a map.  This is a fundamental skill that all men NEED to know.  Not only to get from one place to another, but also to get through life itself.  Huh?  Yeah, let me do the math for you again on this one.

1945 had Headin' Down the Wrong Highway by Ted Daffan
1952 had Driving This Highway by Howlin' Wolf
1963 had Little Deuce Coupe by the Beach Boys
1972 had Hot Rod Lincoln by Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen
1987 had Here I Go Again on My Own by Whitesnake
1991 had Life Is a Highway by Tom Cochrane
2000 had Open Road Song by Eve 6

As you can see, every decade is full of songs about men and their cars or their drives or all things driving related.  What has been lost is the ability for most men to get from point A to point B without some technological device.  It started with Map Quest and Google Maps, then came GPS's and iPhones.  All of these things make getting there easier, but the problem is it robbed us of a vital man skill... how to read a map!

This is a skill that used to be handed down from father to son.  There would be some point in a son's life that the father would come, sit him down and they would plan a trip.  Across town, across state or across the country, the trip would be planned, weather they took it or not.  It was essential to teach the son how to get to where he was going, on the roads around him, as well as in life.

See, planning a trip, reading a map, and executing the plan is what life is all about.  You plan out the goals for yourself, your family, your business, you name the situation.  We all plan these goals with the hopes of arriving at the destination.  It's easy to say I want to be a good husband, but without reading the map, you may never make it to that goal.  When you should take the highway East, you decide to turn North and you trip to becoming a good husband just became much longer.  Yeah, there are those who stumble their way to their goals, but it's a much easier journey if you just follow the map.  Where is the map for becoming a good husband?  Well, there really is none, but you see where I am going with this.  To be that good husband you have to take a series of paths and make decisions, each with their own consequences.  It's not about roads and highways, but the lessons of reading a map applies.  What happens when you come to that fork in the road where you could lash out at your spouse?  If you consult the map (the plan you developed to become a good husband) you will make the right choice.  Those that go the other way, well, they may make it, they may not.  It's a consequence of actions and decisions.  Too often today, men are looking for that GPS when achieving their goals gets tough.  They make that wrong turn and look for something, or someone, to dynamically re-route them.  It was your wrong turn that got you into the mess, stop, figure out where you are, and get back on the right path... should I even say get back on that narrow path!

Map reading is an easy skill to learn and apply.  You are not going to win friends and influence people with your map reading savvy, but you will have resurrected an essential man skill that not only applies to your vehicular journey, but to your life journey as well.  I have included a couple links below that will teach you how to read maps.  I hope all of you will take the time to read (or have the men in your life) read these links and add this BACK to their toolbox!

See ya'll later!

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