A moment to consider


I have several thoughts that I look toward as worthy examples of life, the universe and everything.

(Ok… poor attempt at a Douglas Adams joke… maybe they aren’t examples of everything. But they do serve as examples worthy of thought and consideration. And it with one of those that we begin…)

There’s a basic judgement about the common cold, which is that it will last about four to seven days if you do nothing to treat it. Wake up, get your day completed while suffering, go to bed, try to sleep with the coughs and congestion, wake up, repeat. Roughly a week will pass and you’ll be feeling better.

On the flip side, you could drug yourself to the high heavens. Stuff to help with the breathing and coughing and sleeping. And they will help you survive the illness. The cold though? It will be gone in roughly a week.

In short, treat the cold or don’t treat the cold, your body will still battle it for about the same length of time.

Now this is a very small example, and it isn’t begging for a stronger investigation or research. I’m not asking about not treating it and moving along to pneumonia. I’m not talking about washing your hands and avoiding the germs. I’m not suggesting sick people stay away until they’ve improved so all of us don’t go down in a storm of ever widening cold and flu symptoms.

Just a simple… treat it… don’t treat it… same amount of time to recover. Do something. Do nothing. Same results.

Why should this matter?

Because I often combine this example with another… the joke of even the most incompetent of squirrels occasionally finding an acorn.

When it comes to politics, it is very easy to take credit or assign blame when things do (or do not) happen. It’s the other guy causing the waves or creating problems. And yet, funny enough, here’s the truth…

Many of those things would happen whether or not anyone did anything.

In fact, their claims of being wonderful or their accusations that others are evil often are generally drawn from nothing more than apples to oranges comparisons. Don’t believe me? Watch…

How bad are the property taxes where you live?

Now that seems like a basic question. It might take a bit of time to learn the answer. But the idea of whether they are high or low appears to be a basic question.

It’s not.

My parents have had residential trash service through city operations for as long as they’ve owned their house. Against that, I have always had to pay for access to the town dump or hire a waste management company to pick up my trash.

You’d need to include those figures in your comparison of property taxes and home ownership costs. A house in one place cannot be compared solely on a single number. There are times when things will be hidden in other areas. Pay for this… don’t pay for that… and yet, when you add it all up, the two houses are remarkably similar even when the “property tax” line is off by thousands.

How about health care when saying this country has universal coverage and that one doesn’t. Does that sweeping statement include what conditions and services are eligible for the universal coverage? Does it look at how long it takes to see a specialist, or, even allow you some flexibility in what specialist you can see?

All of this generalized stuff to the side… what I’m trying to say is simply this: I wish people took a bit of time before heading into political debates. The immediate, never thought out, irrational responses give me a headache. Saying a politician found an acorn does not provide any evidence of intelligence or competency. Stereotypes are usually wrong, and they lead to arguments where one person is trying to scream louder instead of recognizing that both people are not holding apples.

Take some time to consider what it is you know… and the details involved in what you think you know. You might be surprised to learn that while you may not be completely wrong, you aren’t looking at the entire picture.


If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com