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05 June 2008

Deal's Third Counsel

Deal's Third Counsel -- The only problem in life is in the living.

Yessireebob.

I have always found the 1995 movie "The American President" with Michael Douglas and Annette Bening endearing. Not sure why really, I just dig it. I've probably seen it at least 1/2 a dozen times. One of the epic scenes is a speech the president gives where he pontificates about the role of Americans. "America isn't easy," he offers, "America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight."

And in real life, not everybody does want it, badly or otherwise.

I've also discovered a unique - and critical - symbiosis between doers and talkers. I have taught nearly 4000 law enforcement agents in my career so far and I end all of my classes the same way, referring the the bad guys that gave us all jobs: "If there wasn't people like them, there wouldn't be people like us". In other words, for there to be good, there must also be evil, otherwise we wouldn't know how to recognize goodness.

So perhaps we should recognize and in a warped way, even appreciate at times, the role of those that don't embrace the life they are given. They endanger our children, they suck the civility - and social services - out of our community and they monopolize the goodness of strangers and offer no reciprocity. With perspective, however, we can acknowledge their role in reminding us how important it is to embrace the life we have. We only have one life after all and seeing people squander theirs is a terrific motivator to take advantage of ours isn't it?

Yes, life is easy, it is living that poses the challenge.

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Do we do a good job of celebrating those that are knowledgeable and that apply themselves? Or do we offer quick rewards for mere knowledge?

Do we reserve distinction for those that exhibit a willingness and that actually execute, actually finish, actually "do"? Or do we reinforce people for stepping to the starting line with the same vigor as those that actually run the race?

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2 comments:

Tismee2 said...

An interesting thought. Until I began to work with people with 'barriers' I had the opinion that they should get themselves sorted out. I assumed that they 'knew' that what they were doing was wrong or didn't conform with the rest of us 'good' people.

Now I know how true the quote "never judge a man until you've walked in his shoes" is. Some of these people have problems and situations to cope with that even the goodest of the good would struggle with.

It's easy for us to be holier than thou with education and stable families behind us. But if everyone was 'good' then wouldn't we just create a standard of goodness and someone would be stil at gutter level?

Michael M. said...

tismee2 - thanks for sharing your experiences.

Everybody is born with 24 hours in a day. Some people choose to use that time lying, cheating and stealing ... and others don't. Personal choice is called that for a reason.

Where are we headed if we believe that people that do the right thing are "holier than thou"? Aren't we supposed to do right?

Again, thanks for sharing your experiences.