Olga decided to buy the ring, confident that her fellow peasants wouldn't know that it was made of diamondoids rather than diamonds.

My brother has a subtle, sardonic sense of humor.  I think it was in that spirit that he bought and wears an “energy band”.  I’m pretty sure he doesn’t buy into the dubious claims of these allegedly magical bracelets, but he does seem to enjoy re-enacting the mall -based demonstration of the strength and balance it is meant to impart.

When he demonstrated the power of the band for my sister after our Thanksgiving dinner, I started thinking about some other potential functional jewelry that could be sold  from mall kiosks.  One of the things I think people really need is self-awareness.  More specifically, we need a piece of jewelry that will sound an alarm when we are on the cusp of learning something important about ourselves.

An example: A year or so ago in a closely contested tennis match, my partner called me over for some whispered instructions.  He didn’t tell me to serve out wide or rush the net.  He just mentioned that he had a particular dislike for one of our opponents.  In response, I raised my level of play, and we won the match.  After the match, I learned that my partner did not dislike our opponent (in fact, he claims not to dislike anyone). Later, much later actually, I realized that I’d learned something important about myself and my motivations.  Both are kind of petty.

It seems I can be counted on to perform best when animosity is involved, even vicarious animosity, apparently. I am driven by spite.  Once I had this revelation, I could see that there had been a pattern I hadn’t been paying attention to.  That’s where the the self-awareness bracelet comes in.  With the bracelet, you’d get a signal whenever you happen to do something that deserves a little attention and reflection. It would be a small reminder to stop and think about what you could learn in that brief moment. The signal could be as subtle as a beep or as significant as an electrical shock, depending on how spiteful I’m feeling.

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