Options

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I recently read on Yahoo that cable TV was on its way out.  It’s days were numbered, being replaced with the option of buying only the channels you wanted to watch and downloading them onto your TV or computer devices.  Internet-delivery TV they call it.  It sounds complicated to a non-techie like me, but I’m all for learning about ways to cut my 3-digit cable bill.  The light at the end of the tunnel.  Definitely something to look into.

One thing I can’t wrap my mind around though, is downloading a movie and watching it on your carry devices.  Like a cell phone, or even something like an I-Pad.  I don’t really understand why the same consumers that buy big-screen TV’s for their living rooms would also watch a movie on a device that’s smaller than a child’s shoe.

But that’s the world of options.  And isn’t having options just the grandest thing ever?  In the world of options, “little” and “big” are important words.

Life is like that too, don’t you think?  We have so many options from the time we’re born to the time we die.  Big options that affect every other moment of our lives, and those options that have little impact.

Do we live life safe, in a little box?  Or take a bigger, riskier step, and put ourselves out there?  One isn’t necessarily better than the other, it depends on the situation and what you need, or what you want.  It’s those options again.

I remember when I was planning a trip for my family to go see Niagara Falls.  Hubby (who is far more well-traveled than I) had seen Niagara Falls before, and told me not to expect too much, because the Falls were “just okay”, but that if I wanted to see something really spectacular, I needed to go out west and see the Grand Canyon.  Compared to the Canyon, he said, the Falls were just mediocre.  His insistence, of course, had the opposite effect and I could muster no desire at all to see the Grand Canyon.

Then when I saw Niagara Falls, I thought What is he talking about?  These are incredible!

They were.  Unbelievably gorgeous.  And BIG!  Maybe it’s because of my low travel quotient and lack of experiences, but I was terribly impressed.  Which got me to thinking… if he thinks this is “just okay”, then what must the Grand Canyon be like?

So now we’re planning a trip out west for next year.  To see some REALLY BIG things, like the Grand Canyon.  And the redwood trees.  Plus, something I’ve dreamed about seeing for some time now.  Something that was once available for all of mankind to see, and now is seen by only a small percentage.  Something that I can remember seeing when I was little, but haven’t seen in a long time.  Something that it’s estimated eight out of every ten people born today – 80%! – will never be able to see.

A truly dark, starry night sky.

In the definition of “BIG”, NOTHING is bigger than seeing the Milky Way and thousands and thousands of stars.  Are you old enough to remember how the night sky was so immense and lit with stars, from horizon to horizon, that to gaze at it gave you vertigo, and you had to close your eyes from feeling you were falling off the earth?

Thanks to artificial lighting and population growth, there are very few places left in the United States to look up and see the Milky Way.  We are not alone in this, the rest of the world is in the same shape we are, and those places where there is still natural darkness will soon be full of light.

Luckily, this is another one of those options we’re always given.  It’s easily within our power to change back to being able to see the night sky, before the generation that remembers it is gone, and the remaining generations don’t even realize there’s anything to miss.  A gift we could give our ancestors.

And all we have to do is turn off the lights.

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