Monday, January 11, 2016

Four Little Thoughts

Many years ago the fear promulgated by politicians and the media was that seniors in poverty would be forced to resort to eating dog food because they couldn’t afford anything better.  This thought crossed my mind as I was leaving the grocery store the other day and saw a poster advertising “all natural” dog food.  Between that and some of the ads on TV, it appears that our pets may be eating healthier (and higher off the hog) than we are.  Soon we may be hearing of struggling seniors forced to feed their dog people food because they can’t afford the vitamin-packed and specially formulated nourishment for the dog.

I expect to never see it, but here is a thought.  What if a receiver on your favorite football team appeared to catch a pass at a critical point in the game, but jumped up and admitted to the official that he actually trapped it?  (You see the opposite happen nearly every week.)  Would there be cheering in the stands for this brave act of honesty?  Would there be cheering in the locker room?  I strongly doubt it.  Yet we expect honesty and integrity from bankers on Wall Street, big drug companies and politicians.  We scream and point fingers when we get the opposite.  Where are our values?  How do we think the bankers and CEOs of the future will act when today, as we bring them up, we expose them to such confusing behavior in terms of values?  Is the message to be honest in life, but if it’s just a game honesty not only doesn’t matter but would be frowned upon?  Or does it only matter when it’s someone else’s integrity and it’s to our disadvantage?

And speaking of football and values:  How long do you think a quarterback at any level would last if he refused to throw or hand the ball to anyone who was not the same race as he is, or the same religion or have the same political opinions?  In this sense we have strong, good-role-model behavior in football that is often overlooked.

I have noticed lately in America a growing number of instances of an evolution from needs to wants and from wants to rights.  Could it be because, when enough people label something as a right, it becomes non-negotiable?  Sometimes individual rights aren’t even specified.  The term becomes a catchall for anything a particular group wants to ban or make untouchable.  How can you have an intelligent debate when any objection is turned into an accusation of you wanting to deny someone, some group or some animals their rights?

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