I’ll take that iPhone…NOT

Matt McClain/The Washington Post via AP
 Florida Keys

A major hurricane recently devastated the city of Houston and surrounding cities and towns. A second hurricane destroyed parts of the Caribbean and the Keys while over four million people in Florida are currently without power. On a single night, there are as many as half a million people on our nation’s streets without homes. Approximately 43 million Americans live in poverty. But fear not, the new Apple iPhone 8 is here, and it will only cost you $1000. For just pennies, you can have a device that will keep you in the loop socially, tie you to your office, aid you in your FOMO (fear of missing out), and cost you countless hours of lost time while you surf the Internet or play a game. Why worry about those in need when you can drop $1000 on a phone?

I could go on and on about the negative effects that smartphones are having on our children. And that’s scary, folks, I mean, truly Stephen King type horrific. I could talk about how social media is destroying our mental health.  I could tell you about the new findings on the adverse effects of cell phones on your children’s learning in school. But those things are everywhere, and I pray that parents, physicians, and educators are paying attention and proceeding with caution. 

But here’s what bothers me the most about the new $1000 iPhone. I’m sure you guessed it. Yep, it’s the $1000 ticket price. When did we become a group of people who willingly, without blinking, spend $1000 on a phone? Do you know how many meals that could buy in a place like Guatemala or Colombia or Ethiopia or even at your local food pantry? Do you know how many children that could clothe? 

And here’s the real kicker. How many kids will be the recipient of an iPhone 8 for Christmas this year? If you’re considering being one of those beloved parents, check out the links above about what these phones are doing to our children already!

A young man I love like a son headed to Florida on Sunday with a nearly empty wallet and little more than the clothes on his back to help the flood victims. He and his friends are sleeping in their vehicles, begging for supplies from friends and family, so that they can help others in need. Can you imagine what they could do for others with that $1000 that someone reading this is about to drop on a phone? 

jane-jetsonOkay, enough of my preaching. I will admit that I love Apple. I love my MacBook Pro and I am seldom without my iPhone 6 (all paid for and not being replaced any time soon). I hold no ill will against the company or anyone who buys their products. I just can’t help but wonder where we, as a society, is heading when we don’t even blink at the cost of a $1000 phone. I sure hope that, if I ever own one, it will make the beds, do the laundry, and cook my dinner for me. At that price, it should do all that and more.

If you want to support a group of Marines in their efforts to help Hurricane Irma victims, please click here.  Good luck, men. Semper Fi.

What I was writing about one year ago this week: Beautiful Land Across the Water.

Amy Schisler is an award winning author of both children’s books and novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me and Whispering Vines, are recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top three inspirational fiction books of 2015 and 2016. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. Amy’s most recent novel, Island of Miracles, is now on sale.

You may follow Amy on Facebook at http://facebook.com/amyschislerauthor, Twitter @AmySchislerAuth, Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/amyschislerand at http://amyschislerauthor.com.

Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017)



Be the Apple

DSC08230I recently read an article about a particular college in which the author highlighted everything the school was doing wrong and the one thing that it could be doing right.  In a nutshell, the author of the article gave the advice, “Be the Apple of colleges.”  What does this mean?  He went on to explain that Apple became the giant it is by finding something that it could do better than anyone else – that was the iPod.  Taking the MP3 player to a level never before imagined, Apple won over buyers looking for something new, something better, and then held onto those buyers and increased their number exponentially by continuing to improve the iPod.  Those advances led to the iPhone (don’t believe everything you read or hear today – experts are saying that the drop in sales have less to do with Apple and more to do with people’s satisfaction with their existing phones).  The iPhone led to the iPad, and others have been copying those products and trying to outdo them from day one.  Even if you aren’t an Apple fan, you must see the logic in the author’s advice.  Simply said, discover what you do well, and show it to the world.

In a previous blog, I talked about happiness and the studies that show that happier people are healthier, live longer, and get more out of life.  A sure way to be happy is to figure out what you’re good at, and show it to the world.  Everyone is born with a gift.  The key is discovering what that gift is.  Some people are born writers, others are born musicians, some are born actors.  But those are truly only a small part of the world’s population.  Does that mean that only those in Hollywood, those on the NYT bestseller list, or those filling stadiums to capacity every night are the only ones with talent?  Of course not!  I repeat, everyone is born with a gift.

My best friend is a quiet, introspective soul.  She doesn’t share much about her personal life with anyone, including me.  She keeps it to herself and doesn’t complain whether she’s home alone on a Friday night or tackling a major project or life-changing event.  But she will sit and listen for hours.  And I mean listen.  She actually hears, absorbs, ponders, and then offers advice or encouragement.  To me, that is truly a gift.  The world could use a lot more people like her.

My mother is the most selfless person I’ve ever known.  She is organized, a good problem solver, and a true leader.  Every organization she has ever belonged to has, at some point, elevated her to its head.  Not everyone has the skill to be a real leader who has the ability to make changes and touch people in an unforgettable way.  That is a real talent.  Current political candidates in both parties could learn a lot from Mom (and yes, she has worked as a political advisor as well).

Whether you’re skilled at a sport, an art, an educational subject, you have a talent that you have the ability, and the choice, to offer to the world.  Do you sew?  Kudos to all of those moms and Girl Scout Leaders.  Can you do calligraphy?  Few people can these days.  Do you have a great speaking voice?  Can you knit?  Are you a good tutor?  I could go on and on.  There are even  tests and books that help you find your hidden talent.  Whoever came up with those must have a talent for discovering talent.

Whatever it is that you do, do it well.  Never lose sight of it.  Pursue it with passion.  My Rebecca is a gifted leader, Katie is a phenomenal photographer, and Morgan is a beautiful swimmer (both Katie and Morgan’s talents are displayed above).  Are any of them ever going to win Nobel prizes or Olympic medals?  The chances are slim to none, but that shouldn’t inhibit the sharing of their talents with the world.  St. Paul tells us that “each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that” (1 Corinthians 7:7).  We all have a talent.  And God wants us to do just what Apple did – find the talent, be the best you can be at that talent, and show it to the world.

Amy Schisler is an award winning author of both children’s books and novels for readers of all ages.  She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her latest book, Picture Me, is the recipient of an Illumination Award, placing it among the top three eBooks of 2015. Her next book, Whispering Vines, is now available for pre-order.

You may follow Amy on Facebook at http://facebook.com/amyschislerauthor on Twitter @AmySchislerAuth, on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/amyschisler and on her web site http://amyschislerauthor.com.

Amy’s books:

Crabbing With Granddad (2013)

A Place to Call Home (2014)

Picture Me (2015)

Receive Amy’s Newsletter for News about Books and Events