This was a letter to the editor in “The Eastern Gazette” by Ken Frederc
“Try not. Do or do not. There is no Try.” Yoda. “Never give in-never,never….in nothing great or small….never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” Winston Churchill.
YODA WAS TELLIN LUKE WHAT CHURCHILL TOLD HARROW. ONCE IT WAS THE CASE THAT I BELIEVED MY COUNTRY (AND MY COUNTRY MEN) adhered to a set of PRINCIPLES AND VALUES that didn’t change based on context. I believed in right and wrong and had confidence people and institutions would not openly commit and condone wrongdoing. TODAY, I CAN’T THINK OF A SINGLE THING WE STAND FOR OR AGAINST; We act individually and collectively OUR OF INTEREST, NOT PRINCIPLE.
How we see right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable, admirable and deplorable should reflect our principles and values not our interests. We shouldn’t need to know whether we’ll be exempted or subsidized before we decide where we stand on mandatory health insurance. We shouldn’t need to know the skin colors before we conclude the police ‘acted stupidly’. We shouldn’t need to know whether it was from a single mom’s purse or a Wal-Mart cash register before we deplore a theft. We shouldn’t need to know what the polls say before we condemn and act to prevent genocide, terrorism, or international aggression. WITHOUTH HAVING VALUES AND PRINCIPLES FIRMLY IN PLACE, we continually find ourselves debating the relative grayness of things and concocting ever more transparent and absurd arguments to support a position we’ve taken or rationalize what we’ve done or not done. In the extreme, we’ll oppose and idea simply because it came from the’other side’and we’ll demonize and disparage others just because they’re not “us”. Most of all, in our actions, we should not need to be assured easy success and overwhelming affirmation to act in the PRESERVATION OF OUR VALUES AND PRINCIPLES.
AS A NATION, we’ve tried and failed to prevent genocide and spread representative government. AT HOME we’ve triad and failed to eradicate poverty, racism, crime and drug abuse. In our individual lives we’ve failed in relationships, jobs,…..The examples of our collective and personal failures would fill pages and every one of those failures should make us wiser and strengthen our resolve. Those failures show us that what we’ve been doing either doesn’t work or that, like keeping the dandelions of the lawn, that what we’re doing will never be ‘done’. It’s important to our own sanity and serenity that we make our decisions and pick our actions based on values and principles and that we affiliate our selves with others who share those values and principles.