The other day, I went to dinner with a friend.  He gave the cashier two ten-dollar bills for a $19.54 ticket, and received $10.46 in change.  The cashier mistakenly punched in $30.00 as the cash given, and so the computer said $10.46 in change which he gave without thought.

When my friend asked if he had given three ten-dollar bills in error, the clerk looked at him like he was crazy.  I’m still not sure the cashier knows why we gave a ten back to him; after all, the register said it should be our change.

Following dinner, we went to get ice cream. There our total was $4.26.  We gave the 26 cents after the clerk had punched in $20.00 as the amount tended.  Literally, she had to ask the manager how much change to give us since the register said $15.74 and now she had this extra change to contend with.

My friend’s comment: “I weep for the future.”

How can you help young people develop critical thinking skills or even common sense?  I fear that they are becoming totally dependent on what the machine or someone else says, without any ounce of thought for themselves.

We live in the land of the free, but fewer and fewer people are capitalizing on their ability to think for themselves. Every chance you get, reward people for thinking on their own.  Only this way will 1+1 = 3 in a wonderfuly creative way.

— beth triplett

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