I spoke in class today about how two weeks ago, my cell phone broke. I was at work on Tuesday and was receiving notifications from the USA vs. Belgium World Cup soccer match that was going on. I picked up my phone with my welding gloves to check my notifications, and dropped it flat on its screen and shattered the touch reception screen behind the glass you actually touch. After work I raced home to see if the game was still on and we had gone into overtime. I made it back in time, but was constantly worrying about whether or not we had lost until I could reconnect with the TV or some sort of information source. More important that the soccer match, my sister was to be married on that Saturday. I had received absolutely zero details on where I needed to be for the rehearsal dinner or when I needed to be there. It made me feel helpless and brought up some anxiety. I reflected back on this experience during the retreat day to the day and a half that I was forced to go without my cell phone. Without what had become a piece of myself. Being connected to others is a huge thing for me. I am a socialite. If I am incapable of attaining the information I need for the plans that I have made, I stress out, and get into a bad mood. While being without my phone, I felt like I was missing something that had been a part of my life since I was 16. When we become accustomed to something, it becomes second nature for us and we start taking it for granted until we are forced to do without. I got towed last Friday due to street sweeping, and was without transportation. I missed a day of work while trying to retrieve my car from the city impound lot, and again realized my dependence on it. I have never been denied these technologies before. I almost feel bad that I have become so reliant on these conveniences, until I remember a lesson my uncle taught me when I was very young. He never went to college, never worked any white collar job making insane money, but he is one of the most intelligent men I have ever encountered. He started two separate businesses from the ground up and has had nothing but success. When I stayed with him for two weeks one summer, I helped out in his shops and he let me in on the secret as to why he has been so successful. He told me, “Work smart, not hard.” It took me a while to understand what he meant, but he went on to explain that he didn’t need a college education to be good at something, and he doesn’t have to break his back either. He simply used the tools available to him at the time to get the jobs done in the most efficient, economic way possible. He used connections in Mexico to start his sailboat tour business, and researched small business tricks to make it grow. I don’t feel bad about my use of technology. They are conveniences that make everyday life easier, such as instant communication, transportation, and even just sustaining life such as the availability of food in restaurants and at home. In “Better Than Fixing Things”, the Amish make a conscious choice not to partake in these conveniences, but are still accepting of others who do.