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Donna Barker

Lessons from my cell phone

I’ve entered a new stage of life recently. It’s one which I took reluctantly at first, but now I’m glad I have.

I have decided to carry my cell phone with me at all times, into meetings, into church, when I go shopping, when I go walking. It’s by my nightstand.

Prior to this, I have been one to leave my cell phone locked in my car, in a desk drawer, on the kitchen table. I didn’t want to take the chance of being interrupted by a phone or text message from a phone which I thought was on vibrate or turned off. I also liked the freedom of being unreachable, if only for a few moments.

I made this decision, to carry my phone with me because I’m not as gullible or naive as I used to be.

Thanks to the onslaught of the national news, I realize more than ever that there are disturbed people in this world who may want to cause harm to innocent people. I have seen too many bodies covered in tarps.

Also, thanks to the national news, I have seen the devastation of floods and forest fires, earthquakes and tornadoes, all forces of nature. It’s way too naive to think we are immune to tragedies made by nature or by man.

So I have decided to keep my cell phone handy. I want to be able to make that emergency phone call for help if I see someone in need. I want to be able to reach my family quickly to let them know I love them.

At first, wavering back and forth on whether to carry or not carry, I couldn’t help but think carrying a cell phone with me all the time would be a kind of defeat for me, an admission that the world is tougher, more dangerous, than I want to admit.

But a week into it, I have actually discovered that carrying my cell phone is freeing for me and has made me feel better about life.

For instance, the other day I was walking down Main Street, with my mind focused on more then a half dozen things that I needed to get done in the next 24 hours ... stories at work ... projects at home. I was organizing and reorganizing my hours in my mind, trying to squeeze the most into the day that I could. I was on a mission. I was missing the sunshine ... the blue sky ... the fresh air.

But then, I stuck my hand into my pocket, felt my cell phone, and remembered why I was carrying it.

Basically, I had two simple things to accomplish that day ... to help others if I saw someone in need and to reach out to my family to let them know they are loved. Everything else was secondary and would take care of itself. The most important things were still the most important things.

Sure, I still had a lot to do in the next 24 hours. And after those 24 hours passed, I had another 24 hours facing me. But that’s OK. I will cross off each task, one by one, as they are completed. They are still important to me, but not quite as important as they once were.

And that’s what I learned from carrying my cell phone.

BCR Senior Staff Writer Donna Barker can be reached at dbarker@bcrnews.com.

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