Did you have ever a Big Trak programming toys in the 80’s? As a kid I was given this gift and loved it. You could program it and do all kinds of things. I always wondered why more toys like this weren’t popular.
What was so wonderful about this toy is that you could also give it voice commands. Imagine that in the 80’s! It really chewed up the D batteries that it required, but it was worth it. I wish that they had allowed it to plug into popular game consoles so you could program it easier but it was still fun.
What was neat about the 80’s is that there were toys that don’t really exist now. This and other science toys have been dumbed down to protect the children. I also had a chemistry set that I really did all kinds of experiments with. Very dangerous of course but I survived. Sometimes you had to do things the hard way to find out the truth in life. That is another post however.
As I write this I can remember how loud this thing was when it moved. It was a grinding sound that really made you wonder if it was breaking. It couldn’t carry much weight either. I think what finally broke it is when I put heavy things on top of it to carry it to me. Of course as a kid you try to make things easier on yourself. If they had a more powerful model that had a wagon or carrying capability, this thing would have flown off the shelves. It is the extensible and ability to work with other things that make something popular.
What would have been perfect is if you could have customized the body or design of it. If it was a motor, pad and then spaces where it could hold things. If it was modular like the other toys of the type like Lego, or even supported Lego exterior that would have been amazing. If toy manufactures would just work together, they could make some amazing things that would benefit everyone. Why don’t they do this?
So this list will be a laundry list of my and others mistakes and the things that I have learned from them.
Volunteer when you are healthy. Even though charities need volunteers they don’t need sick ones. It is an unfortunate fact of life that many people do not have health insurance and can’t easily see a doctor. So while you may be sick and able to get better, it is not so easy for those with a lack of resources. Try to think of the resources of the people you are helping when you are helping them.
Volunteer when you are in a good mood. If you are stressed or dealing with other issues in your life, don’t bring them to where you are volunteering. They need volunteers with a good, positive, helpful attitude not one in which they are stressed even more by being there.
Volunteer when you promise. Unless you are sick or an emergency has come up, please keep your commitments. Many times they plan on your effort and without it, important things don’t get done. So please keep your commitments and call and give a heads up the moment something happens that forces you not to be able to keep your commitment.
Turn off your phone. Too many times I have seen people distracted by their phone to effectively donate their time. Certainly you can have a phone, but please instruct people you will be out of touch for whatever time you are donating. It is really disrespectful to stop helping someone in need and whip out an expensive mobile phone and tell them to wait. It’s basically saying that your life is more important than theirs, and that you aren’t really in the moment.
Be humble and do whatever you can to be helpful. Of course what a charity may ask you to do is probably not what you would prefer to do. Most people do not volunteer for the difficult or boring jobs. If they ask you to do something, please, please just do it, regardless of your feelings towards it. If you are known as someone who is not helpful, your usefulness is questionable and they may ask you to not return. Volunteering is about doing what needs to be done, no matter how boring or tiring it may be.