"Of course, that's just my opinion, and I may
be full of shit"
- Dennis Miller -
Since this opinion was considered in great detail,
it will be difficult to change my mind. However, it's not impossible. I
am always open to reason. I welcome thoughtful, logical, response.
Recorded Aptril 13, 1997 - Updated March 1, 1998
Selling Our Future
When I was a child, children were the future. It's hard to imagine otherwise.
No doubt, someday we will be past our prime, with today's toddlers being
our source for our bionic parts. I will always remember the optimism cast
upon me as a child.
To boot, elders were to be respected. My grandfather used to tell me
"watch your rear view mirror as much as where you are going". Tips of wisdom
like this have done more than just help me avoid speeding tickets. Someday,
I look forward to filling young ears with my opinions.
What about now? Does our society appreciate the gifts we have among
us? More than ever! Michelan babies are held on a pedestal. Plastic
knees and hearts flow freely into old
bodies. But how about the rest of us, where do we stand?
Imagine this: I don't want children, though I sometimes enjoy their
company. I respect elders, but I recall much of what they have done. In
each of these groups, as for all age groups, colors, and creeds, there
are good and bad individuals, and no one is worth more than the rest of
us just because they fall in a particular category.
Unfortunately, realistic evaluations of worth are often considered blasphemy.
In their zealous pursuit of something to believe in, many people become
bias. They value individuals based on age, race, sex, or some other unfounded
That is to say, you are great and valuable not because of who you are,
but just because you are a kid or and old person.
Of course this is not only caused by the need to believe in something,
it is also the fear of passing judgment. Rather than evaluate individuals
on their own merit, it is much safer to champion a group without reason.
Perhaps then, individuals can avoid being judged themselves. Perhaps then,
when they are old, a precedent will provide for every whim they might have.
To praise children, elders, or any other group, is a noble cause that
hides all sins, and covers all eventualities. In the glory of the mission,
it is forgotten that to raise one group, another is left by the wayside.
The damage done, and the inappropriate motivations are forgotten in the
whirlwind of emotion.
Equally important is that an individual praised without merit, looses
motivation and gains a feeling of immunity -- they become greedy. Of course,
avoiding gratuitous praise is not a recommendation for excessive negative
feedback, nor a suggestion to avoid positive support. It is a call for
appropriate feedback, without which people lose track of values.
The correct balance can only be reached when people become comfortable
with their own worth, so that they can interact with others on an appropriate
levels rather than having to hide behind artificial labels. People of all
ages have something to offer. Credits, and needs, must be evaluated on
a level playing field. Children are not immeasurably valuable, nor is life
to be saved at any cost.
It seems romance has gotten carried away. What I mourn is the loss of
moderation. I am all for artistic manifestations of romantic feelings,
but daily life need not be so affected. Social karma is once again out
of whack, something for which we all pay the penalty.
What I want is for people to recognize that the Michelin tires on your
car should be for the safety of all passengers, and that every naturally
deteriorating human should not be rebuilt just
because we can. Current attitudes are removing incentive for our youth
to earn respect, and is making our society go broke, despite the fact that
we work ever harder.
In attempting to protect our own little future, we are actually selling