Almost a year ago I attended a 7 day leadership training program, offered by the University of Colorado-Denver. During that time, we did a group exercise that really stuck with me.
First, our group of about 50 was divided in two. We got different rooms. Then we got a sheet of complex instructions.
The object was for the two groups to get as many points as possible. We were told that we could offer, through ten rounds, a single letter (A, B, C, D, or E) to the other team. They, in turn, could offer a single letter to us.
On January 6, 2001, I had the honor and privilege of giving the commencement address for Emporia State University's Master of Library Science Class of 2000.
I know I'm supposed to be a good consumer. I know I'm supposed to want More.
I want Less.
As a youth, I wandered the globe with a 14 pound backpack. It held everything I owned. This was, I believe, the last time I knew where everything was.
Eventually, I took on what the Hindus call the yoke (or "yoga") of the middle years, the years of family and social productivity. With that challenge came a host of new possessions. Some, I admit, would be hard to do without. Here I'm thinking: washing machine.
I'm writing this on December 30, 1999 (I know, it seems like a millennium ago) in the faith that civilization as we know it will survive long enough to publish this column, and for you to read it.