“What’s New…?” Parts I, II and III


It’s a simple enough question and one that is likely asked millions of times each day in an variety of nuances and a thousand different languages.

An old friend, reaching out on Facebook writes these few words… these few, simple words… “What’s new?”, and it sends my thoughts reeling.

Oh my… what is new? You see, we haven’t seen each other or spoken in over twenty-five years.

Suddenly, I’m having a moment like I suppose my grandparents would have had as they answered a similar question in 1920. As they spoke of achieving lasting peace in the “War To End All Wars”…

…As they related stories of these crazy guys with names like Marconi and Edison and Tesla who were playing with sound waves and vacuum tubes, power generation and refrigeration…

…Or maybe as they took us outside to show off the shiny new black “automobile” in their driveway, the one that matched all the shiny new black automobiles in all of their neighbors driveways.

Twenty-five years… indeed, what is new?



I’m thinking everything…

Family and friends that moved away. Family and friends that passed away. Husband. Father. Mentor. Saved by grace.

The Fall of the Soviet Empire. The Rise of China. “Made in Japan” now means quality! President’s Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43 and Obama. Cold War ended. Gulf War One started and ended. September 11. Iraq. Afghanistan. Friends Overseas. Friend’s children overseas.

New puppy, now elderly dog. The Euro. Bought my first computer. Bought my first computer with a HARD DRIVE. Started a business. Grew the business. Diversified the business. Sold the business. Traveled lots. Started another business.

No More “Pager”. No more Faxes. Tons of Email. Texting. Flip phones. Video phones. Smart phones. Free phones. Internet Radio Networks. Robotics in industry and medicine. Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Nano-technology. AIDS in America effectively a silent issue and cosmetic “enhancements” go mainstream.

What else is new?

Blogs. Social networks. Expanding Power of Social and New Media. Decline and Fall of Traditional and Old Media. Mega-bytes. Mega-Churches. Mega-Cokes and Fries. Three ounce travel size everything. No more travel-agents.

The iPod and iPad. Cars you can’t work on. Mobile computing. Pilot’s License. Boards and Committees. Teacher. Coach. Author. Drummer. Less Vices. More Influence. Packers WON Super Bowl. Packers LOST Super Bowl.

I’m thirty pounds lighter. Eighteen gray hairs richer. No longer get carded… too often.

Sounds like everything is new, or is it possible that the answer is really… nothing?



People still drive too fast. Drink too much. Abuse themselves and others too often, and care too little. There is still opportunity everywhere, in every direction and in every trouble… if we’ll only look.

There are Loving people at every intersection. Passion available in every cause. Generosity somewhere in most hearts. We still like good company. Good products. Good Music. Good movies. And good humor.

We still do business with those we like. With those we love. And those we trust. Politicians and Marketers still say ANYTHING they think we want to hear, and Congress continues to find new names for taxes.

The Coffee Aisle is still my favorite real estate in any store. And technology continues to get better, faster, and cheaper. We still value old pictures. Old memories. Old wine. And old sneakers.

People still want Respect. Need Love and Appreciation. Desire Attention and Acknowledgment. And we seek Purpose. Those who find these treasures will still create positive impact. Those without will still cause trouble. Usually Big Trouble.


So, my friend… “What’s new?”

When it comes to technology and toys, gadgets, gizmos and widgets… yes, we can’t forget Widgets…. it does seem like everything. True, when we look at activities and metrics and units of labor, it can definitely feel that way.

But in our relationships… in the things that really matter… faith and hope and love… maybe there is nothing new at all. Yes thankfully, there is nothing new at all.

And now we can use much of what HAS changed… the technology, to improve the quality and effectiveness of all the things that HAVEN”T changed… our relationships and our needs, wants, and desires as people.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Photo Credits:


5 thoughts on ““What’s New…?” Parts I, II and III

  1. What I see that has changed us the most is the digital revolution. Lets take the area of photography for instance. Photography, impacts so many people on a daily basis that we have mostly become as immune to it as advertisements. Oh, could that be because about half of advertising is photography. What about all the places that you see photographs? Bookcovers, CD/MP3’s, Magazines, TV, INTERNET, Cell Phones, PDAs, facebook, myspace, posters, restaurant menus, product labels, coupons, cereal boxes, sports cards, t-shirts, coffee mugs, mouse-pads, pens, text books, hats, credit cards, art galleries, bus stops, letters, etc.

    Photography is everywhere. More now than ever before. Currently it is pretty easy for a photographer to get their work out to be seen. Anyone can open a flickr account and post enough images up make a quick and easy portfolio on a $0.00 budget, have it up and running within 10 minutes AND send out a mass email to an unlimited number of addresses. BAM!

    This digital medium allows an artist to receive critiques from people all over the world in a matter of hours. This interaction allows an artist to develop and grow in their selected medium as well as a creative community of support and knowledge.

    I cannot say that I haven’t changed over the past 25 years, but I can say that the things that I need most in my life have not been added to this earth or society in past 25 years. Currently 27, I think of what has changed and most of the items that come to mind are material goods and the way they are produced.

    I still need my loved ones, hugs, and my faith. All manmade; All needed.

  2. Hey Mike,

    Thanks for your thoughtful and insightful comments. If you choose it to be so, you just wrote the opening paragraphs in a future chapter of one of your best-selling and widely-distributed books!

    I love the way you think, and every one of our conversations teaches me something and gives me food for thought. There are a ton of people out there who are waiting to learn from you.

    Have a great weekend – Steve

  3. This is great, Steve! I’m so glad I stumbled upon (although not with the social network) your profile!

    A delightful post with intriguing thoughts. I look forward to seeing more!

  4. Hey Paul – Really enjoyed our conversation over at Twitter, and looking forward to getting to know you better. Love how you mix your thoughts of business with integrity and faith. Thanks for making an impact out there. – Steve

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