Sunday, April 10, 2005

Too much information at the ball game

Last night El Jefe and I went out to the ballgame. It was a beautiful cool and breezy spring evening--perfect baseball weather! Unfortunately there was a young man a couple of rows behind us who almost spoiled the evening with his loud cellphone conversations.

Talk about too much information! This guy was upset because he thought that he had been "dissed" in the presence of his kids by some group of other men before the game. Every other inning he was calling another one of his buddies, relaying the story in loud, agitated tones, and begging the buddy to meet him with some others after the game to "show" this other group that he had friends who would back him up. "Ya know what I'm sayin'?" he shouted repeatedly.

I felt like I was privy to the planning of a gang rumble or something. Yet when I looked behind to see who this yahoo was, he appeared to be an ordinary enough looking guy--just another young father with his kids at the ball game. He wasn't sporting ghetto-style attire, or visible tattos or other gang-like insignia.

People on cellphones often behave as if they were in a sound-proof telephone booth, oblivious to the fact that they are broadcasting the intimate details of their lives to the strangers around them. What in the world must his kids think about all those phone calls?

One of my favorite retired pastors often counsels people thusly:
That may sound harsh, but so often we dwell on slights real and imagined and create problems and difficulties for ourselves in life that we could have avoided. In the Lord's Prayer, we say "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." Forgiveness is a powerful thing: it frees us from the destructive emotions and actions that accompany dwelling on the wrongs, real or imagined, done against us.

During the last phone call of the evening, it was clear that one of the young man's friends was trying to persuade him to forget about the issue. I hope he was successful.

By the way, our team won!

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