Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ten Modern Plagues According to Sara

Before we know it, Passover will be here. I cannot think of any other holiday that has as much symbolism as Passover. I am looking forward to seeing friends who have become something like a second family. Now...eating matzah for eight days straight-not so much.

As any observant Jew knows, the ten plagues are recited as a drop of wine is removed with our finger for each one during every Passover seder. There are various interpretations of this simple act. One such interpretation holds that the ten plagues, which describes the affliction of the ancient Egyptians, represents negative energy. As wine is spilled from the cup, the cup is then left with only blessings.

Briefly, the ten biblical plagues are as follows:

1. Blood

2. Frogs

3. Bugs

4. Wild Animals

5. Pestilence

6. Boils

7. Hail

8. Locust

9. Darkness

10. Death of the First-Born

However, these events took place quite some time ago when the world looked very different from today. I have been particularly fascinated with modern adaptations that also includes a list of ten plagues for our time. After seeing a few modern adaptations, I decided to come up with my own list of ten modern plagues.

So here it is! I would be interested to see what you think and whether you have anything you'd like to add to this list.

1. Crowded Metro platforms during rush hour.

We are an one-car family. In the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, having a car is really more of a liability than anything. Parking can be expensive. Since both Teddy's child care center and my workplace are located near to a Metro stop, Teddy and I ride the Metro together most weekday mornings and evenings. It became our special one-on-one time. However, it also coincides with the rush hour where Metro platforms can become really crowded.

It seems like people become more outright rude the more packed trains are. They elbow each other to get through. Additionally, they are not always considerate of people who might require a little more time getting on or off the train and allowing these people to go first.

2. Texting.

While texting can be a wonderful tool for keeping in touch as you are out and bout, some people don't seem to understand that texting does not necessarily translate to best writing practices. It annoys me every time I receive a hand-written letter or a business correspondence riddled with abbreviations such as "LOL" and "LMAO." While I would say that such abbreviations has its place and purpose, it does not require too much time to actually spell the full word(s) and should when drafting certain documents. The extra effort does not go unnoticed.

Also, texting while driving is not safe. It should be banned everywhere. Enough said.

3. Sleep deprivation.

It can be a challenge to get a full recommended eight hours of sleep during the week between working full time, social obligations, errands, and having an active preschooler in the house. The weekends are usually full of children's birthday parties, family and/or friends, and catching up on whatever errands I did not finish during the week.

If I had an extra hour each day, I would spend it sleeping. Sleep does so many wonderful things for you and seems to make a lot of things better.

4. Low battery.

Just when I need to get in touch with someone regarding an urgent matter, the iPhone battery dies. And then I realize I did not bring my charger with me. Fun.

5. Able-bodied people using the elevator.

During the weekdays, I walk past a group of high school students waiting outside the elevator to the Metro stop while there is at least one person in wheelchair. As soon as the elevator doors open, they push their way inside and fill the elevator without any room to spare for the person in wheelchair. The person in wheelchair has to wait another five minutes for the elevator to come back up just to get on.

One day, I decided to confront the students and pointed to the nearby escalators. It was not even twenty steps away. They had legs that enabled them to walk as far as I could see. They responded with some rather snide remarks.

There is a reason why elevators are there. And it is to provide accessibility for all people and those who needs it more than others should have the luxury of using it first. The rest of us can walk. Yes. Really.

Also, this brings me back to the first item on my list and ultimately boils down to having common courtesy for one another.

6. Traffic.

Washington, D.C. officially ranks among the top ten cities with the worst traffic according to this report.

7. Jaywalkers.

When I drive in Washington, D.C., I am amazed by the number of jaywalkers. They do it even in front of police vehicles and never get a citation from what I see. If jaywalkers started getting cited, I wouldn't be surprise the government of Washington, D.C. would see a budget surplus for that year.

8. White on white.

While I am no fashionista, the obsessive part of me kicks in every time I see someone wear a white top with a light khaki. Not many people can pull off this particular look. I keep thinking that the "whites" should match if doing a white on a white and consider a light khaki to be the equivalent to a white piece of clothing.

9. Telephone trees.

"If you want English, press one."

"If you want Spanish, press two."

Telephone trees drives me crazy because it might mean that I would be on line for at least twenty minutes trying to get a hold of a live person to get my question answered that hasn't been answered with the information already provided as a part of the auto-recording. It becomes very impersonal way of doing business.

10. Unfiltered information overload.

One of the best classes I ever took was actually when I was in middle school-Media Literacy. In that class, we learned about various sources of information and how to determine whether such information is actually a trustworthy source.

Anyone could start a website and put whatever information they want on there. While there are definitely some good information to be found on the Internet, newspaper, radio, and other media outlets, there is also a lot of misinformation out there. The challenge is learning how to filter out the bad to get to the good. It is an important skill that should be taught to every child.

There are times, however, when the constant barrage of unfiltered information can become quite tiring. I have gotten to the point where I take most information with a grain of salt.

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