• Now, even the pope says we all need to chill out.

    On vacation himself, Pope Benedict XVI said this past weekend that we need more than weekends to recharge our batteries. We need more time off to recharge our souls. But the sad fact is, we don't, and for most of us, we won't.

    Did you know most working Americans don't take all their vacation time? And for those who do, they're so wired and tethered to the office that they might as well be at work.

    It's probably a sad commentary on our times. But these are different times.

    It used to be that most folks took their vacations in the dog days of August, because, well, they were dog days: nothing happened.

    But looking back over the years, it seems like everything happened and happens in August.

    A Mideast war this go-round. Something called Katrina last go-round.

    Bill Clinton admitted an affair with a certain intern eight Augusts ago and came darn close to losing the White House. Richard Nixon resigned 22 Augusts ago, and "did" lose the White House.

    Asian markets were in a freefall this time nine years ago. World markets darn near followed when the Russian Ruble did the same thing eight years ago.

    Maybe in times like these, vacations seem like silly even risky things. But I think what the pope is saying is there will always be times like these, always times that try men's souls. But over-worked, over-wrought and over-spent, we are ill prepared to deal with them.

    So the pope is saying, slow down. Pity no one heard what he said. We were all too busy.

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