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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Sept. 1, 2014

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        My childhood best friend and I are Facebook friends. That’s the level of our current relationship. He doesn’t post many updates. He’s not one of those people, constantly sharing pictures of his dinner or his dog. When he does post something, it’s pretty much always like: “Enjoyed Istanbul. Rode a camel. Heading off to Dubai…” 

        Studies show other people’s Facebook posts make us feel like our lives suck. We humans have a tendency to compare ourselves with other people, after all. That’s why two, count ‘em two, of the Ten Commandments are devoted to coveting (in the Lutheran Ten Commandments anyway; I found other versions with only one covet commandment.) Either way, even God doesn’t want you obsessing over thy neighbor’s house or his wife or his Facebook status.

        My childhood best friend and I used to be close. All through grade school, we flew Frisbees together, rode bikes, and shot off model rockets. We went on adventures in space pretending we were astronauts and watched Raiders games on Sunday afternoons. Somewhere in high school, I started hanging out with girls and generally screwing around while he started working on his career. He learned how to fly at 14 or so— first gliders then single-engine planes. When he went off to aeronautical college and I bounced from one school to another, we sort of lost track of each other completely. Of course, he’s highly Googleable. Flight instructor. Federal Aviation Administration. He testifies in front of Senate committees when they need an aviation expert.

        According to his latest Facebook update, he was in Jordan just the other day. (Jordan is a small country in the Middle East for those of you, like me, who aren’t up on geography and had to find it on a map. It’s over by Iraq.) Me? I’ve spent many a weekend in Wisconsin!

        He was in Jordan helping a world hunger organization with their humanitarian airlift. Me? I sometimes give pocket change to street people. Sometimes. (But not often.)

        Okay, I don’t kill or steal or bear false witness… still working on the coveting…

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