For a little 'light' reading, I'm currently enjoying "The Armchair Economist" by Steven Landsburg. I read it for a managerial economics course a couple years ago and was fascinated by Mr. Landsburg's ideas. Really, if anyone is even remotely interested in economics, you have to check out this book!!
Anyhoo, he devotes the first chapter to one of the eternal laws of economics; people respond to incentives. My favorite bit was when he pointed out that seat belt laws resulted in an increased number of accidents. His argument is that when people think they are safer in their cars they drive more recklessly. Before, when their cars were less safe, people had an incentive to drive safely. Of course, safer cars meant fewer deaths per accident, but the number of accidents increased to the point that there are as many deaths now, after the seat belt laws, as there were before the laws were enacted. Please don't misinterpret, this man is not against seat belts. He just tries to find reasons for seemingly odd occurrences. Afterall, another law of economics says that all human behavior is rational. There's no accounting for taste, but people tend to act rationally. So, economists like to find the rational reasons behind seemingly irrational behaviors; like why products see an increase in sales when a celebrity, even one without a particular expertise, endorses the product. Why buy Pepsi just because some famous actor/actress is being paid to say they like it? Actually, he comes up with a pretty good answer, but you'll have to read the book to find out.
The point is, after reading this chapter I've started thinking about what some of my incentives are. Here are some I came up with:
1. I shower so I don't feel grimy. I love when I get out of the shower feeling all clean and fresh, but I hate the thought of showering. I'm not sure why.
2. I read the Old Testament so I don't look and feel foolish when standing in front of my class every other Sunday. A wonderful side effect of this is what I actually learn from studying the Old Testament.
3. This week I'm going to work at 8am instead of 9am in order to marginally make up for the many hours I lost because I took three days off last week for the Shakespear Festival.
4. I write in my journal 1) to have someone to tell all my secrets to, 2) therapy, 3) to pass on what I've learned and who I am to my descendants.
5. I call people to organize getting together with them, NOT to chat forever. Unfortunately, I don't get to see all my loved ones all the time, so speaking with them on the phone is the next best alternative.
6. I wear shoes I think are ugly because they are comfortable and airy.
7. I read to learn and to escape.
8. I'm staying in Cedar (at least for the time being) so I can be close to my family, to play with my friends, and because the thought of quitting my job makes me sad.
9. I like cooking because I enjoy mixing things together to make something wonderful, the smells, and because I like to eat.
10. I'm not married because I don't date. I won't list the reasons I don't date; they're too numerous and personal (sorry).
11. I stay up late at night to finish a good book, to play Monopoly on my cell phone, to talk to friends, to think about work, to daydream (I know, it's silly to daydream at night but I can't seem to help it), to watch a movie or "As Time Goes By", or to clean/organize my room.
12. I pay tithing because it's a commandment and because I've been blessed too many times to ignore.
13. I sing to entertain myself and my nephews and niece. To everyone else, I'm sorry.
14. I dream because there are so many places to go, people to meet, and things to do and I want to experience them ALL!
15. I pray to thank God, seek inspiration and guidance, and just to talk to my Father.