Sunday, May 01, 2005

Pavlov Reloaded...

While viewing elephants at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, recently, we were told by one of the zookeepers to meander down to a gate which leads from their main paddock into a larger, much more open, area. The zookeepers had just dropped off piles of hay out in the larger paddock. It would soon be feeding time… and the elephants knew it. So we proceeded to the overlook point and positioned ourselves by the gate. A minute later it was opened and, sure enough, we got a great glimpse of all the elephants making a mad dash for the piles of hay – their afternoon dinner.
The company I work for will, occasionally, have a lunchtime session on topics which vary from how to fill out an expense form to how to avoid stress. Typically you are expected to bring your own lunch to these sessions and, typically, they are not very well attended. Last week we had a lunchtime session on health and safety, with pizza and soda provided free of charge. There wasn't an empty seat in the conference room.
Every Sunday we typically arrive at 8:45 a.m. for the 9 a.m. service at church. At that time the parking lot is sparsely filled, and remains so even at 9 a.m. As late as 9:20 a.m. stragglers are finding their way into either church or Sunday School. For those who may be thinking that it is difficult for people to get to church at the early hour of 9 a.m., it’s interesting to note that the phenomenon is essentially the same for the 10:45 a.m. service. A few Sunday nights ago our church had a special 5:30 p.m. dinner banquet promoting the various Missionaries they support. Arriving ten minutes early, at 5:20 p.m., I expected we would be one of the first families there. Much to my surprise we were actually one of the last to be seated! Oh yes, the dinner was free (save for the usual requests for donations). Food – the great motivator.

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