DiscoverParking ThoughtAnd Millions of Good Choices | 93
And Millions of Good Choices | 93

And Millions of Good Choices | 93

Update: 2020-03-26


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In this edition I talk about how our COVID experiences include a lot of things to be grateful for even if the systems we’re a part of are woefully imperfect.

Dr. Bruce’s I See Old People Podcast:


music by Dyalla Swain

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hello when welcome to parking thought
the Internet’s only podcast recorded
from the intersection of curiosity trail
and gratitude Lane around here we start
our episode titles with and just because
we can the windows here in the studio
face the rolling hills of gratitude and
just beyond the hills light all the good
in the world from the extraordinary to
the everyday my name is Jacob and I’m
glad you’re here today let us know
you’re listening by tapping the like and
subscribe button or leave a comment
wherever you happen to find us in this
edition we’re going to be talking about
a lot of things because there’s a lot of
change kovat is changing people’s lives
and there’s a lot of things i’ve been
exposed to this episode is as you will
notice i normally get an episode out
every day i am recording this on
Wednesday the th of March and I didn’t
have an episode out this morning last
night I got sick and it was interesting
getting sick because with all the news
and information about kovat you would
think that that might be what I have but
I don’t think that’s the case I’ve got a
mild fever
my throat’s about as scratches normally
is and I feel like I can breathe so this
is definitely not the kovat but it is
something where it’s like easy to get
scared and you know being scared is
going around right now there’s a lot of
it and when that happens it can distract
us from the good things that are going
on so I want to talk about a few of
these and this might be a longer episode
because of it but I hope that a lot of
value in your life and I hope it was
worth waiting a day for me to be able to
compose myself and put it together so
one of the things I’m saying and the
people I work with is that there’s a lot
of change in their life the things that
they had been relying on and planning
their life on aren’t there my parents
have had to cancel several trips and the
opportunity to meet with friends that
they’ve been looking forward to seeing
after her over a year and a half two
years and that’s not happening another
set of my friends was planning on taking
your family for Spring Break down in
Mexico all the trip was planned they had
tickets bought they were looking forward
to spending time on the beach
disconnecting and wondering what day of
the week
you know when you get to that point in
the holiday where you don’t know what
day of the week it is because you’re
just that relaxed that was what she was
looking forward to and that got
cancelled and then on top of that we’re
seeing a huge shift to being inside not
seeing other people and a lot of other
things that go along with that
you can kind of get stir-crazy in your
walls I saw a great mean today where
somebody said you know it’s day six of
quarantine and now I understand why the
animals are so keen to run out of the
house whenever the doors open and you
know we all feel a little bit of that
now the other thing that’s happening
right now that is kind of something to
keep an eye on is there’s a huge shift
in the economy right now just in general
people aren’t eating at restaurants
because they’re not going out they’re
not enjoying those social experiences
now the reasons for not doing that are
pretty obvious but what that does as far
as things like your food supply goes is
it changes the entire market structure
right remember the market is so
responsive to so many different things
it’s absolutely wonderful and it
responds to where the needs are so the
needs that we’ve built up over decades
and lots of years have been you know
identified in that restaurant industry
and now that shopping that demand from
consumers isn’t in that space anymore
it’s on the retail side it’s on the
grocery store side and so that whole
retail apparatus has to develop its
capacity to be able to respond and it’s
having a hard time keeping up we can
talk about shortages of items like
toilet paper and hand sanitizer and a
few other things those are definitely
but there’s more market indicators in
that whole process and this is where I
want to communicate something that may
be a little bit controversial to the
audience and may not be very popular and
that is price gouging I’m a fan I’m a
huge fan because what it does is it’s
all temporary right all of the prices
for anything that we ever buy are always
temporary they’re never static we may
think they are right and sometimes they
may artificially beacon
that is static so for example a grocery
store and the grocery stores are gotten
really good they always put the milk in
the back because they know you’re gonna
walk the house more stuff on your way to
go get the milk and they might keep the
milk at a lower price because they know
that you’re gonna go in there to get
that and then while you’re there and
walking by all the other things they
might you know you might pick more of
those things up so they might keep the
price of some items artificially lower
so that way they can get you into the
store based upon what’s going on it’s
the same way with sales
well something similar happens with the
price of things when they go up so for
example hand sanitizer right now hand
sanitizers in high demand and if the
price were to go up to ten or fifteen or
twenty dollars a bottle what that would
do is that would indicate to people who
have the ability to make hand sanitizer
that they could do so and make a profit
because remember it’s not really the
sustained cost that’s hard it’s a lot of
the investment cost to retool you our
staff and your equipment and machinery
to be able to create those products that
retooling cost right could be covered
very quickly if the prices were high
enough and then at the end once you got
to the sustainment model and prices and
competition drove the and competition
were to drive the price down you’d be
able to get to the point where that
sustain model has more players in the
market and more ability to meet a wider
demand and that’s a good thing so when I
see the governor of the state of Idaho
where I happen to be living talk about
how he’s hoping that price gouging
doesn’t happen and that he doesn’t have
to enforce it with the rule of law I
think maybe he needs a class on
economics and understanding how economic
demand works yes there will be price
gouging and when that happens some
people will not be able to afford it but
in general because there’s price gouging
more people will produce whatever is at
a higher cost it’s a good thing and we
need to support it we need to you know
not necessarily do it ourselves if we
have the ability to be generous but if
it’s happening let it happen and let it
happen in its course now I don’t have a
problem well the problem I have in
general in that market equation is if
the government were to do something
about it but I don’t have a problem if
private industry does something about it
for example Amazon has come out and said
they will not support people who are
selling goods beyond a reasonable price
right for the current emergency so
Amazon is a private company is saying
hey we’re not gonna allow price gouging
that’s the Amazon’s twice they’re
welcome to do that they are welcome to
play in the game of economics and the
free market however they want to and a
free market means free to choose right
not that you get stuff for free they’re
free to make that twice with their
platform that they’ve set up that people
are using and I’m grateful for that I’m
grateful for the voices the price couch
I’m grateful for Amazon for being
against it as a private entity right and
I’m grateful for the governor of Idaho
for discouraging it with his words so
far and hopefully not discouraging it
with the force of law it’s a terrible
thing to ask police officers and other
folks to get outside at this point and
discourage behavior that’s not
necessarily immoral right but it does
happen to be illegal and that can be a
bit frustrating at times well I hope we
don’t have your blood boiling on that I
want to get on to other subjects and I
want you to see in these other subjects
just like this one with price gouging
that there are good things with what’s
happening and well let’s go to the next
thing so recently and this is a fun
story for me to tell I was asked to fill
out the census I got a thing in the mail
said go to a website and I was supposed
to fill out the census so I go to fill
out the census and I’m excited right
we’re gonna count up how many Americans
are in the country and I’m going to tell
you that I have six people in my home
right because if we look and just read
the Constitution right the the supreme
law of land it says that the government
is supposed to be able to provide a
census to know how many people are in
you know the country and so I’m excited
that I get to tell them there are six
people in my home and so I went to go
fill out the census and I go to the
website and it asks me what my name is
well that may not sound like a problem
to you or me I mean the government
already knows my name I’m not really
scared of that but they actually don’t
need my name to do the census they just
need a number they only need a number of
how many people are in my home so I kept
hitting the next button and then it
decided to tell me that I couldn’t
follow the Sun system
so oh darn the census isn’t getting
filled out for my house this year
because well I didn’t think they needed
my name
they shouldn’t be asking for it there’s
no legal justification for it you only
need a number at the end of it now I am
grateful I told this to my dad and we do
family history and one of the great
sources for family history and who’s
living with whom and how lives are
connected and whatnot has been the
censuses from the ‘s and early s
that is a great repository of
information of humankind and I’m
grateful to have it out there but back
in the day we needed somebody like the
government to be able to create and
store such a large database of Huey who
we are as human beings and today we live
in a society where there’s so much
information about us and it’s so well
documented that we get scared about how
much information is documented about us
and where we live and all those other
things like that and so we don’t have
the need for the government to track
that sort of thing anymore we have that
through other means and again we can go
back to what the census was designed the
census was designed so you would have a
count of all the people in the country
so that way you could determine the
number of representatives to have in
Congress now back in the day when James
Madison built this thing right and wrote
out the Constitution the ratio was one
to thirty thousand one person in
Congress for every , Americans well
there’s three hundred and thirty million
plus Americans in the country and I’m
not good at math but I typed a few
numbers into a calculator and when I
divided up you know three hundred and
thirty million by three by thirty
thousand I got eleven thousand right now
we’re supposed to have eleven thousand
representatives in Congress but because
of a law passed in we don’t we only
have four hundred and thirty five and
that’s not a very diverse body we have
three hundred and thirty million
Americans out there three hundred and
thirty million Americans with different
ideas different thoughts different ways
of solving problems and our
representation is capped at and the
way our judicial system works is that
you have to be harmed
in order to challenge
but who’s gonna be harmed by the fact
that they’ve capped the number of
Representatives it can be a completely
unconstitutional law but if nobody has
standing to take that to court it can’t
go anywhere and that can get pretty
frustrating but let’s remember the
what’s frustrating about it to me is
that we have three hundred and thirty
million diverse voices doing what they
see is right in their own space right
and wanting to be represented by a
government and now we have a government
response at different levels and in
different ways to what’s going on the
government is so minimal in the whole
scheme of things they are not very
powerful remember there’s only
people in Congress and yeah they may
have authority to be powerful and and
that sort of thing but what’s way more
powerful is the fact that just in
America alone we have three hundred and
thirty million people diverse voices
looking at this situation and making the
best choice they see with their lives a
lot of us are staying at home and a lot
of others aren’t because they feel that
the risk and the reward factor justifies
whatever activity they’re doing and I’m
okay with that there are people out here
that still need to build houses there
are people out here that still need to
lay roads and those are industries and
jobs where you tend to be separated
there are people that still need food to
be made you know I want restaurants to
stay open as much as possible as long as
they’re meeting a market demand there is
a lot of beautiful things happening in
the world and it’s not going to make the
news it’ll probably make a podcast maybe
like this one maybe like some other one
but it’s happening you know and this
brings up to a good point with one of my
favorite podcasts to listen to it shows
up every week and I get a chance to
listen to it and that is the I see old
people podcast by dr. Bruce right dr.
Bruce has had to shut down his practice
in Canada and I love Canada and I love
Canadians I think they’re wonderful last
week we got to have Brent who’s a
photographer in Canada on the show I’ve
married a Canadian my father-in-law has
a microphone that I’ve loaned him and
hopefully he’ll be able to record a few
episodes and share
with this podcast because oh boy does he
love to talk and he’s got this great
presentation speaking voice and he has
some stories to share and years of
experience looking for good things in
the world so I really did hope that Tom
shares with us
well dr. Bruce has been mentioning how
he started off this podcast talking
about what it was like to get old and
what was going on and and he thought
he’d be sharing oh I found a bowl in the
new video we have to go test if it’s
skin cancer and what what that’s like
and and he feels like his podcast has
been consumed with Cova you know
topics and you know when he’s recording
them that’s what he’s hearing when I’m
listening to them I’m hearing something
else I’m hearing a man who’s dealing
with the challenges in his life at this
stage that he wasn’t prepared for and
guess what
well I mean like wasn’t prepared for in
the sense that we didn’t imagine this
happening you know I don’t think anybody
did and it’s okay to be experiencing
something new when you’re years old
what’s also really neat is that his son
has come back and how he’s got a grown
adult living back in his house again and
and so it was really ironic for me to
listen I I was I was literally talking
to him on the stereo and I was listening
to his episode this morning in the car
and it was obviously he can’t hear me
right you know so it’s it’s like talking
to the television so I’m listening to it
he’s talking about our sons coming home
and he’s talking about how he wished he
could talk about normal things that you
know seniors that happen to seniors when
they when they turn and I’m like
doctor Bruce what’s it like to have a
kid move back into your house you know
what is this like how are you
renegotiating boundaries what do you
find that’s that’s good in that
experience you know and he’s covering
stuff that is normal but I think he’s so
focused on the co fits you know topic at
hand he’s missing it we’re missing it if
you’re not seeing the good in the world
right now you’re missing it take a
breath it’s out there there are
million Americans doing good
I have seen more people taking walks I
have seen more people outside I’ve seen
more people spending more family time I
asked my daughter yesterday if we could
color my ten-year-old hey can we call
her can you print something for me she
printed off a turtle and her colors are
not the coloring book I you know thought
the colors of of colored pencils I’d
prefer but she was just thrilled and so
last night I was shivering because I was
dealing with the fever and the hot and
cold swings that go with it and I was
miserable but I was coloring that and
she thought it was the greatest thing
because she felt like she was taking
care of me that’s a memory she’s gonna
have how many more of those memories are
we creating now that we’re spending more
time together
how much more grateful are we that we
have one another how much good is going
to come out of this you know I finished
driving my car I got out of it this
morning after listening to dr. Bruce and
I heard a bird chirp that’s probably
just a Robin it was early in the morning
Sun hadn’t quite come up yet and it’s
springtime here in the northern
hemisphere you know that bird doesn’t
care about whatever else it is that
we’re dealing with it’s springtime and
there’s things we’re celebrating in the
there’s things worth celebrating in
every aspect of our lives ladies and
gentlemen I have been to some really
ugly places in the world and I have been
to some really ugly places in my mind I
have spent time sweating in Iraq and
Kuwait I have spent time in Afghanistan
and there are a lot of things that we
can do to improve how we see one another
as people this pandemic is helping us
see all of the rest of us as people not
those people in Iran who are dealing
with this strategy all right not those
people who are part of some Empire of
evil or whatever some politician wants
to label them those are people if
families and boy now that I’m spending
more time with mine it’s a lot easier
for me to be compassionate about what
they’re dealing with
we have an opportunity to unite the
world in our response to this like we
haven’t done in a generation I’m
grateful to be alive during part of this
I’m grateful for all of you that listen
and I’m grateful that we’re learning new
things we’re learning how to work remote
we’re not good at it yet we’re not
perfect at it yet but every day I get to
work with people and you can hear the
excitement in the voice when they’ve
discovered that they can do something
new and that helps them build the
foundation as we establish our new norms
in our economy and in our society to be
able to do better and operate better and
be healthier and happier right we take
vacation to spend time with family now
we’re spending even more time with
family why aren’t we grateful why aren’t
we just walking around and giving
everyone a hug well I know why we’re not
giving our neighbors a hug but we should
be that grateful and so I hope that
whatever social media you guys are using
right now tell somebody else out there
how grateful you are they that they’re
in your life and how much you care for
them because we need a little bit of
that we are feeling a little isolated my
work is way less social than it used to
be I used to walk around the building
and be able to talk to four or five
people and reconnect and learn about
what they’re doing and develop
friendships and relationships to help
things move forward and I don’t get to
do that right now I have to do it over
calls they’ve been good calls we’ve been
turning on the video and it’s been good
but there’s something else missing and
there’s something else that you can help
close in somebody else’s life by letting
them know that you care well there’s
more to share but I think we have space
we have room for more episodes later and
so we’ll get to that later in the next
episode let’s wrap this up this is the
part where I tell you that the best way
to say thank you for this episode is to
share it with somebody that you know you
could share the whole show all whatever
episodes were add but that might be too
heavy why not just share this episode
and if you’re going to share just this
episode and want to stick around for the
long haul then we’re glad you can make
it if
you want an easy way to subscribe and
you’re on YouTube hit the subscribe link
over there we could always use more
YouTube subscribers now if you don’t
want to go to youtube go to parking fat
comment up at the top you’ll see a
subscribe link that has all the curated
links for the YouTube the Spotify stitch
your Apple podcasts and all the rest and
as we close the blinds on our view to
the good things in the world let’s
remember in a world where you can choose
to be anything why not choose to be









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And Millions of Good Choices | 93

And Millions of Good Choices | 93