following essay was produced as part of my 2013 effort for the
November National Novel Writing Month effort. As such, please
understand that while I did give it a quick review, it has not
gone through the same proofreading and editing I normally try
to give all of the material posted on this site.
always make some mistakes. There are errors to be found throughout
this web site, and many exist despite dozens of attempts to correct
problems. That said, ask that you approach this material in the
spirit intended – a basic thought, slightly worked out and very
informally researched, delivered in the hopes of writing more
than 50,000 words by the end of November.
~ ~ ~
some thought… A LOT of thought… I have basically come to the conclusion
that virtually all of the troubles around us can be summed up
by two words.
good portion of examples come from recent politics. I mean, honestly,
I don’t believe any of these people actually are sincere when
they claim to be accepting responsibility for the messes that
are playing out in front of us.
an early age, don’t our parents and family and friends more or
less get across the concept that often times it isn’t enough to
say you’re sorry… you actually have to have some depth of feeling
story number one… check out this passage…
like to think of myself as a smart man. Unfortunately, most
of my friends are significantly more likely to first say I’m
a smart ass. Regardless, I’ve been quietly sitting on the sideline,
trying to take in everything swirling around with this health
care debate, and the time has come for me to say something.
So here it is…
this has turned into a game of push and shove. Who can yell
the loudest… who can defend positions they don’t seem to understand,
but don’t want to look like a fool by changing their mind (and
looking exactly like a fool when they do)… and all sorts of
other assorted hilarities and oddities. We’ve got members of
Congress yelling at the public… we’ve got the public yelling
at members of Congress.
nothing is getting done.
to the new Washington. (Same as the old Washington.)
wrote those words, four years ago, in an essay titled
care reform on hold… because Obama’s new Washington can’t be trusted
to do it right” here on this web site. And
in that article, I questioned whether Obama’s administration was
really the right group to attack this health care debate.
my essay, I pointed out things like the underfunded initial stimulus
package, and the repercussions felt by many from the cash-for-clunkers
effort. And, basically, I came to the conclusion that this group:
(1) loved acting quickly for the sake of acting and not for the
sake of truly finding solutions, (2) seemed completely shocked
that, in fact, every action does have an equal and opposite reaction,
and (3) when called upon for a response, tend to blame the other
course, this is Washington, and EVERYONE thinks the other
guy is to blame. (While failing to recognize the capitol version
of a classic old joke: if one out of three out of three politicians
are idiots, and you look to your left and then to your right and
see idiots, the math actually still concludes that you too are
now… story number two…
than a decade ago, Tom Gamboa stood on a baseball field. He was
a coach for the Kansas City Royals, and they were in Chicago playing
the White Sox. Gamboa was coaching at first base.
fans came out of the stands, raced to Gamboa, and attacked
the event, those “fans” made claims that Gamboa deserved to be
attacked, as he had been provoking them. I saw articles outlining
how drugs, and alcohol, and circumstances at home were involved
in outlining a troubled-life defense that directed the responsibility
for the attack at anyone and everyone except the two people that
ran onto the field and assaulted a man.
that time… and I bet you couldn’t have predicted this… the father
and son tandem have continued to create a stunning history that
includes troubles with authority, parole violations, positive
tests for drugs, returns to jail, and… ok… the son has had articles
written that outline how he’s
still proud of the his role in the event.
politics and people like those that attacked Tom Gamboa are not
the norm, and represent far and distant examples. Still, I think
the general concept works here.
live in a society where people do not want to accept any responsibility
for the events and surroundings of their life, and do not want
to take any accountability for their actions.
why should they?
a look at television. If you watch it for an hour, I guarantee
you that… without changing the channel, and by watching the commercials…
you’ll see that: (1) There is something wrong with you. And, there
is a drug for it. (2) It isn’t your fault. Whatever “it” may be.
And, there’s a lawsuit for it.
anyone else watch this stuff with a questioning eye?
are commercials that crop up every so often saying that if you
owe money in unpaid taxes, so-and-so can help you settle for significantly
less than you actually owe.
think about that again.
owed taxes. You didn’t pay them. The government figured it out
and found you. And now someone is saying they can get you out
of the bill.
seen these… yes? Ok…
up -- Did you owe the taxes? Did you not pay them? Are we talking
about a legitimate tax bill? Because these commercials make it
look like the big, bad government is on a quest to punish evil-doers.
However, if you didn’t pay a true bill, that seems to say you
bear some of the responsibility for this situation.
another way… if you’re driving 85 on a stretch of road where the
speed limit is 45, and there is no surprise involved because you
know the speed limit is 45 and that you are way, way, way over
it, then you really don’t have much of a case complaining about
the police officer that pulled you over and gave you a ticket
with a court date involved.
up -- Hold on. I can decide not to pay my taxes, and when the
IRS finally catches up with me, throw my hands in the air and
offer them forty-cents-on-the-dollar for what I owe to settle
up? Good lord, why would anyone pay their taxes?
wonder society has such a harsh view of whistle-blowers and authority
figures. It’s not the person that actually does something wrong
that we hold in a dark and unfavorable view, but often the one
that points out that they did it.
maybe I crossed a line there. I wrote an article that pointed
out “The tradition
of Officer Obie is alive and well…” where
I discussed my getting a speeding ticket.
trick is… there are three sides to every story. Yours, theirs,
and the truth. The truth is in the middle. Seldom is anyone 100%
accurate in their interpretation of a story. If we’re being realistic
and honest, the world is full of gray areas.
I’m finding so disappointing is the number of people that want
to operate under the delusion that they are the audience of their
own life. That for every situation that goes wrong, the
fault belongs someplace else.
up, the expression used to go something like this -- when you
point a finger at someone else, remember there are three pointed
back at you.
like that concept. Not because I want to bring about some ratio
that says everyone is 75% to blame for their own situation. Not
because I think that there are never scenarios where others may
not be involved.
just because I like the idea of a deep breath, making certain
that one’s own affairs are in order, and at least considering
things before lashing out at others.
few moments ago I overheard someone say “common sense is dead”…
and perhaps that might be the greatest summary of this essay.
have the ability to make decisions and take actions. And that
freedom carries with it the basic law of physics I expressed earlier
-- action, reaction. And to that end comes a responsibility for
our actions, and an accountability for our actions.
then again, common sense is dead.