A Letter to Me

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(Read by the Author)

Brad Paisley sings a song “A Letter to Me”:

If I could write a letter to me… and send it back in time to myself at seventeen


So I decided, it’d be interesting to write a letter to myself at eleven.


Dear Jason,

First let me prove to you that this is really me.

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Jason at 10

Fishing with my father

Remember that hollow hickory tree on the Christmas tree farm you grew up on? Well, there was all that moss around it and you used to sit there and play on the soft moss with your sister, and what did you call this ‘secret hiding place’? It was called “Bee’s Place” because of all the honey bees that you and she used to see in the daises that clung to the edge of the bank.

Laying under the tailgate with your black lab on the burlap at the top of the hill, you used to watch the clouds float by while dad pruned the trees. You laid there one day and thought to yourself how old you will be when the year 2000 rolled around. A whopping 26 years old and you thought to yourself, will you live that long. I can assure you, that you do.

Now, if I could offer you some advice. You don’t try hard at all in school and I know that you don’t like the way you look or the fact that you move schools so often you never have time to make close friends. But someday, you’ll appreciate all of the exposure you’ve had to different towns and people. You are very intelligent and in college those D’s and F’s became A’s and B’s. So you have it in you now to make it easier on you in the future. School can be your outlet rather than your prison.

Stay away from Anne. The path she leads you down is not a path you want, it can affect the rest of your life and haunt you in ways you can’t yet imagine. Don’t even talk to her or play with her or her sisters.

Stick with your sister and brother, they’ll be your greatest assets in the next few years.

Tell Grandma how much you love her and hug her every day, because she won’t be around much longer. Tell her that you end up having two incredible boys and she would be so proud of them.


You’re going to do some monumentally stupid things, especially when you’re in your late teens and early twenties. But trust that the things you do are merely learning lessons and not the end of your life… even if you feel like they are the end of your life in the process.

The places you go and people you meet along the way will mold you into the man you’ll become. But it’s a man that will have people around him that love him tremendously. The most amazing person you’ll ever know has lived near you almost all your life and you won’t even know it until your darkest times are upon you.

When Grandma dies, you will think that God has left you and you will be extremely angry at him. And when your parents split up and you are taken from Ohio, you’ll gain even more resentment against him. But know that he will guide you in ways that you can’t even imagine and when your son is born, a warmth and light will illuminate you in ways you never dreamed possible. Listen to that light and follow the warmth, don’t run from it as I did. Just look at that baby’s face and trust. Trust.

Hold on to these precious moments you have in your life right now and appreciate your childhood. Because someday you will go back to those days for comfort. When all else seems dark and alone and you feel like no one understands you… think about the evening that you sat at the kitchen table in Grandma’s house in the dark with only the light above the table with your head upon her lap. Listening to the silence and the two voices that broke that silence, her’s and Dad’s. Not talking about anything important… just talking and living as grandma petted your hair.

You don’t know her yet, but learn to appreciate Doris. She and Grandpa will make a profound difference in your life if you let them.

Be good to others, but don’t ever let anyone take advantage of you – and believe me, they will try. Most importantly, give love to those that love you back and help those who help you back. And don’t let everything and everyone else bother you. It’s not worth it.

~ Me

P.S. As soon as you hear the name Google – find a way to buy some stock immediately. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Losing Touch

We are Losing Our Humanity

We are Losing Our Humanity 976 549 Jason Stadtlander

It’s not a new theme, in fact it has probably been told from every generation since the beginning of the twentieth century. When you reach a particular age, change comes more difficult than when you were young.

The last one hundred and fifteen years have seen more change in society world-wide than ever in the history of man (except perhaps Ancient Roman and Greek). Just when we begin to feel like we have a grasp on the speed at which things are progressing (such as in the mid 1990’s), the world gets thrust forward again. In the late nineties we saw a new advent of technology – instant messaging and texting. This became much more prevalent between 2003-2006 with the creation of AOL instant messenger in 1997 and later following such technologies as Nextel’s ‘push to talk’ feature in 2003.

One man’s perspective

Please don’t forget, I am one person. I work in Information Technology and I am a father. So, my views, my outlook on society and where we are and where we are going… may be quite different from your’s. Then again, I could be dead on for most of us. You tell me.

Pros and Cons

I won’t deny that small parts of the increase of communication and technology are a good thing. I am able to speak every day with my father who lives 800 miles away and talk regularly (though not as regularly as I’d like) with my siblings and mother who live 3000 miles away – sometimes instantly because of the advent of today’s communication. However, I truly believe that what we have lost far outweighs what we have gained with technology. Yes. I am in I.T. and do it for a living, but I think that gives me even more of a solid perspective of how much everyone has come to depend on technology.

We as a society have gone from sending a handwritten letter, knowing that the party won’t read it for a few days or picking up a phone to call someone – to instant email transmissions, instant messaging, texting, KIKing and Facebooking every nuance of our lives and expecting instant communication. We have detached ourselves through our technology.

Communication Cycle

Companies thrive on providing instant communication, instant help, and need to be the first to respond to everything. Otherwise they lose business. So, they increase their communication, which causes their employees to provide that same level of communication in their personal lives, which causes their families to do the same and so on.

It’s one giant vicious circle and at some point someone needs to stand back and look – look at what we are missing because of our need for instant gratification.

What does teaching our children to contain their thoughts in 140 characters teach them? It teaches them to abbreviate everything. I think, there should be a service like Twitter that requires you to write at least one thousand characters. But that would never be successful. Because humans are lazy… and want everything now as quickly as possible.

What have we really gained?

Here are some points of what we have gained in the last forty years since the thrust forward in computers and technology:

  • The ability to store massive amounts of data for medical, statistical and research purposes
  • The ability to reach someone instantly
  • The ability to communicate via video / audio with someone on the other side of the world in real time
  • The advent of new innovative medical technologies that save lives every day
  • Safer cars, safer planes, safer methods of travel and safer worlds for our children, elderly and handicapped. (this I could write a whole series on)

What have we really lost?

In the need to communicate instantly, constantly, we have lost the core foundation of what makes us human. Here is a small list of items I can think of:

  • With instant communication, comes consumption of time on a level we don’t realize. Which leads to inability to personally communicate and think the way we need to.
  • The fact that every dollar you spend, every item you buy, every event you participate in is constantly recorded somewhere, somehow.
  • The fact that you can’t walk down a street in town without being visible on at least a dozen different cameras (including mobile phone cameras).
  • Expecting everything immediately, communication, information – we lose the ability to be patient. To appreciate how good things can truly be in waiting.
  • Children, consumed by the electronic world around them – unable to effectively communicate interpersonally with those around them.
  • Studies have shown a decrease in our children’s vocabulary, resorting instead to abbreviating their thoughts and desires.
  • We have lost the ability to stop and really look at the world around us.
  • We have lost the ability to look someone in the eye when we are talking to them. To have that human element of face to face communication, of simply talking – not about anything specific, but just being friendly without pretense to a particular subject.
  • With the advent of so much safety equipment we take away: 1. The ability to use your own common sense for safety. 2. Survival of the fittest (which I really believe is more important than we realize).

How can we change?

I strive everyday to stop and just watch people, talk to people, find a few moments to look in a friends eyes and see what is truly going on behind them. We cannot change the entire world around us, but we can change our own tiny fragment of the world.

SoulWe can pay more attention to our God given soul to communicate with our fellow man and woman. If we were intended to communicate with those around us instantly, we would have been given antenna and telepathy.

We can alter the lives of those around us by choosing to add the human element and even forcing people to wait for something worth waiting for. It’s not ‘rude’ to take your time… it’s ‘quality’ which is far more important than speed or quantity.

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