I’ve often been accused of being too opinionated or “negative” in my comments to others, and yet my own deep-rooted values, morals, and faith prevent me from sugar-coating any truth or fabricating any type of “feel-good” response that benefits neither myself nor the recipient of the response. This tends to portray me as a bitter, prickly-pear cactus on many occasions, and sometimes results in hurt feelings rather than understanding of the origination of my comment.
I find it extremely difficult to demonstrate tolerance or bite my tongue regarding behavior and/or comments that are clearly put forth without any reflection on common sense. The “ability to perceive, understand, and judge things, which is shared by (“common to”) nearly all people” and then “reasonably expect this behavior of nearly all people without any need for debate” has become as rare as the heavens raining fish and clearly headed towards a meeting with the Dodo Bird in the land of extinction. Holding my tongue becomes even more difficult when stupidity permeates the actions of society in incidents ranging from a father KICKING his son down a skateboard ramp in an effort to teach him how to skateboard to Sharlene Simon, a 42-year-old woman, suing the family of a 16-year-old boy (Brandon Majewski) she “mowed down” in her SUV while he was riding home on his bicycle! Her claim? She “sustained serious and permanent injuries to important physical, mental, and psychological functions” and yet Brandon is DEAD!
When did it become acceptable by ANY measure to put aside common sense and so readily conform to the evils and wrongdoings of society? When did we so eagerly choose to wipe “human” out of “humanity” and allow circumstances to push us along like a leaf caught in the current? At what juncture did honesty become the exception to the rule, instead of the rule? At what point did we, as a society, unanimously agree that honesty, integrity, accountability, and responsibility, ALL properties upon which our nation was founded, suddenly ceased to matter in our daily relationships with others?
As I gain wisdom with age, I often reflect back on my years as a teenager and can see how exasperated my parents were in their efforts to balance the upbringing of a cohesive family with the immorality of society. I see their struggles through much wiser eyes and, intermixed with my own experiences of raising my children, realize that for all of the rules and structure that were placed upon the household, I would not have had it any other way. The strict upbringing, in conjunction with the shunning of societal behaviors that were clearly detrimental then and continue to be detrimental now, positively formed the foundation of honesty and integrity through which I have succeeded.
In the end, when the chapters of my life come to a close, I will rest peacefully upon the knowledge that “honesty was always my best policy.”