This, that, and other stuff

Bob Neuman

Are the once good qualities of some people missing in action?

Do we old timers have a distorted view of how good times used to be? Have we forgotten the hardships and disappointments along the way? Weren’t there wars and the Great Depression for some of us? If so, then how could growing up time have been better than now?

We received our values and standards from various sources and training. First impressions, in most cases, came from our parents who tried to teach us right and wrong. Some parents were good examples we observed and emulated. Others were bad examples. I know a person whose father was a heavy drinker, squandered the money and was a woman chaser. This friend made up his mind he would not ever be that way.

Many other examples of proper behavior have come from numerous people and places, perhaps the church.

Could it be that our visions of a better era reflect times when people valued responsibility, accountability, civility, modesty and honesty? Are we presently living in times when many think these attributes unimportant? Does the lack of these qualities from others bring on the anxiety we sometimes feel?

We are facing another new year. Instead of making resolutions we never keep, I suggest you take an inventory and write down the elements and standards important to you. Here is my own personal list.

1. A person should be responsible, reliable, and accountable, keep his word, and always be punctual.

2. He should work hard, be considerate and able to see the results of action taken.

3. Common sense is a necessity. Knowing and doing things to get along in this world is essential.

4. Physical conditioning will mean a long life. Be diligent.

5. Live within your means and do not run up bills on credit cards. Pay them completely off each month.

6. Saving and investing are the correct ways to live. Discipline and denial are important here.

7. Avoid hateful or boring people. Help those who cannot help themselves.

8. Be persistent in anything you do. The goal is to accomplish, not merely make an effort.

9. One should be humble and allow his successes speak for him.

10. Pray and do the will of God. Prayers are heard.

11. When the time comes for action, do it.

12. Procrastination is not only stupid and wasteful but it can become fatal.

13. Avoid doctors and attorneys.

In Homer’s Odyssey, the Cyclops were huge, uncivilized people with only one eye in the middle of the head. They followed no laws except those they decided on their own.

Are we living in a time where too much Cyclops behavior is the norm? Our standards not only help us live correctly but benefit or hurt others as well.