Sunday, October 26, 2008

Size Does Matter

As I sit here composing this blog, I'm enjoying a nice large bowl of my favorite cold cereal. It's one of those oatmealy-raisiny cereals, the kind that sticks in your teeth, doused in extra-cold milk. Sometimes I pour the milk in a bowl and put it in the freezer for a few minutes, just until a small ring of ice forms around the edge. I love cereal, and I know why. Growing up in a relatively large family with little disposable income, we ate what my mom bought. And that was usually Corn Flakes. On special occasions, or when my mom was feeling unusually spendthrift, we got Shredded Wheat, Kix, or Cheerios...but 95% of the time it was Corn Flakes. I hate Corn Flakes. In my movie about an overpopulated future earth, the dramatic phrase would be "Soylent Green Corn Flakes!"

Recently I became aware of my tendency to eat out of extremely large bowls. This is not good, because what looks like a small amount in a large bowl is actually a fairly large amount of food. I believe I started doing this after my mission to Korea, where they put hot soups and other foods in incredibly large bowls. They only fill the bowl about halfway, but I think part of the reason is that it helps prevents spills. I need to control my portions, so I'm going to try to select smaller vessels in an attempt to trick myself into thinking I'm eating a lot. We'll see what happens.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What's Your Story?

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that a childhood friend I haven't seen in over 30 years lives less than 10 miles from me and is still a faithful member of my church. He spoke in my ward today and shared some personal stories related to his assigned topic. It was quite nostalgic. It made me think about the other speaker -- the high councilman who droned on an on and didn't tell one personal story. He essentially read from the scriptures and summed up with his testimony. If there's one thing that people in our church need to learn, it's public speaking. Yes, I think that sharing one's personal convictions in public can have a strong impact on an audience and move them spiritually, but I also like to hear their personal stories and the experiences that have shaped their character. Good public speaking is essentially the art of storytelling, and it would do us all good to reflect on those stories that have shaped us and to share them in a meaningful way.