This, That and Other Stuff

Bob Neuman

Whatever happened to …

Many residents of SunBird feel fortunate growing up in the ‘40s and ‘50s. Sure, there was a big war, but wasn’t the pace slower and weren’t people, for the most part, kinder and gentler?

In my small town, a bank loan sometimes took only a handshake. Weren’t the majority more accountable, responsible, honest and considerate? The anxiety we feel now was minimal then. I don’t recall anyone wanting to shoot me or cut off my head for not believing his religion or attending his church.

“Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in the bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated us valuable lessons as:

“1. Know when to come in out of the rain;

2. Why the early bird gets the worm;

3. Life isn’t always fair;

4. And maybe it was my fault.

“Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

“His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsening his condition.

“Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

“It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student, but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted an abortion.

“Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

“Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home, and the burglar could sue you for assault.

“Common Sense finally gave up the will to live when a woman failed to realize a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap and was promptly awarded.

“Common Sense was preceded in death by:

l. his parents, Truth and Trust.

2. his wife, Discretion.

3. his daughter, Responsibility, and

4. his son, Reason

“He is survived by his stepbrothers:

1. I Know My Rights

2. I Want It Now.”

Excerpt from Death of Common Sense, Author Philip K Howard … repeated from an earlier month.

Will we ever live to see the return of reason and all the other attributes that once made our living so much better? Can we ever again toss the car keys under the mat or leave home without locking our door? Have what our generation calls the glory days gone the way of our friend Common Sense?