My how we all have come to think we know everything about everything. With constant Internet access, we are simply the smartest person in the room all the time. Just ask the new-style news people who not only report the news, but render an opinion. When did that become a good idea? Are we for real or just posers? An awful lot of us seem to be full of answers but what do we really DO? What do we really know? Hypocrisy seems to be running rampant.
Don’t tell me about charity and ignore the homeless begging for food. Don’t tell me about your hardships while you complicate your own life with financial commitments and a complete lack of spending discretion. Don’t write words of love and later reject those that reach out to you. Don’t expect pity when you act without shame. You are my brothers and sisters and I will take the shirt off my back for you, but not if the only reason is that you like the color of mine better than yours.
If you want to talk the talk, then you better walk the walk. We keep hearing that life is so hard. Work is so demanding. Times are so troubled. Why does everyone say that this world has become so hard to live in? I don’t see it that way. I believe if I take care of my world with integrity I will not become a burden to the rest of society and if each of us took that kind of personal responsibility, we wouldn’t have to spend so much time subsidizing those who don’t. See, I have a real simple plan. Got a pencil? Here goes:
• Respect your parents.
• Go to school.
• Work hard and do well.
• Help other people--make it become a habit.
• Go to college or find a solid trade.
• Pick a career that will make you like working.
• Stay with it by making solid, rational decisions.
• Graduate or move from apprentice to master.
• Make it your job to get a good job.
• Work hard to stay in that job.
• Save your money.
• Buy a home.
• Live in it.
• Pay it off.
• Marry someone you love.
• Stay married.
• Have kids--as many as you feel you can afford and raise well.
• Raise your kids well.
• Take care of your parents.
• Take your spouse and children to church.
• Make sure they know you are aware of a power better than yourself.
• In your home, be sure respect is always shown of the spouse and children.
• Retire as part of a plan.
• Enjoy retirement because you prepared accordingly.
• Remind God how much you appreciate His guidance every day.
• Die proudly with a handsome legacy.
I’ll bet you find things work out pretty well with this format. It isn’t complicated. The alternative may give you a few clues as to why life can get “so hard.”
• Resist any parental influence or suggestion and go your own noble way. What do the old timers know anyway?
• Get by as best you can in school. A lot of it you’ll never use again so why try so hard?
• Find a particular direction later—there’s plenty of time to experiment.
• Put off college or trades until you are really sure. Don’t be so serious.
• Try a lot of different dead-end jobs to get good experience at not committing to anything. When you’re tired of the routine, just leave.
• Rent an apartment instead of buying a house. Why tie up your money? Buy more stuff. You can never have enough stuff.
• Live with your parents as long as possible so they pay all the bills you don’t want.
• Don’t worry about retirement, the way the world is going you’ll be lucky if we’re all here by then, anyway by then maybe returning to full social security will save us all.
How does all that sound? Is there maybe a clue or two of how things can spin out of control if you don’t take control of your life? Do you think maybe part of the upshot is you should be sure your house is clean before you tell the rest of the world what they should be doing? But hey--you are still young, worry about it another time. This stuff is way too hard to think about now.
Ron Ciancutti is the Purchasing Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. He is not on Facebook, but he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.