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  • It’s all well and good to put family first, but a teen pregnancy pact puts work/life balance out of whack before you even start working. By now, we have all formed our own theories on what could possibly have caused seventeen high school girls to want to get pregnant at the same time, besides the fact that non-starter Jamie-Lynn Spears grabbed nine months worth of headlines by doing the same thing.

  • Well, as usual, it turns out that, like it or not, the bizarre things our kids do have something to teach us. Once we get past the wanting-to-send-them-to-a-tough-love-camp stage, anyway. An ABC News report on the story trotted out a psychiatrist, who pointed out that people who form pacts "develop trust, camaraderie and rebelliousness by sharing this secret, [and] these bonds then impel them to commit the forbidden act that they wouldn't have the courage to do on their own."

  • I’m not suggesting that we adults start deciding to get pregnant en masse (wouldn’t work for the guys, anyway…at least not yet), but let’s look at the key elements of the above analysis: the trust formed in a pact allows the group to commit a taboo act they wouldn’t normally do individually. And what are some of the unspoken taboos of the overworked overachiever? Down time, open communication and vulnerability to name a few. Of course, each of us craves these things but is too caught up in a system that does not reward them. Now, if we could get together with a dozen or so like-minded workaholics and agree on a subversive act that would really knock our loved ones for a loop….

  • "Hello, Fred? So, it’s settled, then. Bob and Kevin and Ryan and Bill and Frank and Al and Mark and Peter and Steve and John and Paul and me are all going to leave work early on Thursday and take the family out to dinner and a movie. Now, don’t forget to call all of us at exactly 3:30 so we can synchronize the turning off of all cell phones and Blackberries. Except at 6:00 pm when we turn them all back on to text message each other and make sure we’re going through with the plan. Anyone who doesn’t text at six will be banned from all future pacts. And trust me, you don’t want that to happen. We’ve got one coming up where we’re going to call in sick and spend a lazy day with our spouses and girlfriends! Isn’t that awesome? No, I wouldn’t want to miss it, either. Anyway, at 11:00 pm we all call each other to see how everything went, and how we’re dealing with not thinking about work for a full eight hours. Yes, it is exciting, Fred, isn’t it? And forbidden, you bet! The boss would kill us if he knew! Tee-hee. Tee-hee-hee. Tee-hee-hee-hee."

  • Of course, as with all pacts, often the participants do not consider the consequences of taking things too far. And the danger here is that we will get so used to enjoying life that we may never want to work again. And before you know it, America will have fallen behind in the global economy. Nah, that’ll never happen.