The most practical kind of politics is the politics of decency.
Listening to one of our presumptive presidential candidates has been painful. It is as if the ghosts of Huey Long and Joe McCarthy are filling his mind with offers of impossible prosperity for all while fomenting hate for some. I am dismayed that so many seem to be enchanted with the promise of a chicken in every pot based in part on the exclusion of those not like us.
I believe we are better than that. I look around me and see how far we have come in my lifetime. Prosperity created by the folks of all races, gender, nationalities and religious belief. We as a people must not be lured by the false promises and prejudice being offered as the path to happiness. The solution is never to destroy what we have but rather to build on the foundation we have laid.
Here is a story that describes almost everyone I know and it is they who provide hope for the future.
We Are The Decent People
Wilferd A. Peterson
We are the decent people of the world. We are in the majority, for men and women are essentially decent. We live in all nations, we live under all the flags that fly.
Decency is not determined by our economic status, our religion, the language we speak, the color of our skin, or the ideology under which we live. Human decency is a universal quality.
We, the decent people of the world, often have our voices drowned out by the shouts of leaders who misrepresent the things for which we stand.
We the decent people carry enough weight to tip the scale for decency if we will make ourselves heard…
We believe that war is the great indecency, that it kills and destroys all the higher sensibilities of man and leaves only death, suffering, and destruction in its wake.
We believe that this is a beautiful universe and that it is made for love and not for hate; for peace and not war; for freedom and not slavery; for order and not riot; for compassion and not violence; for happiness and not misery.
We believe that there is only one war to be waged in the name of human decency, and that is the war against all the common enemies of man… hunger, disease, poverty, ignorance, crime and failure.
We believe that every child should have the chance to grow up in an atmosphere of faith, not of fear.
We believe that the ultimate decency is to help men and never harm men, to lift men and not degrade men, and to respect the dignity of all men as individual human beings.
We the decent people of the world stand for the kind of life that will be good for all of the people, all of the time, everywhere.”
As much as we need a prosperous economy, we also need prosperity of kindness and decency.
During a Yiddish play being given on Second Avenue (the old center of the Yiddish theater district), the curtain fell suddenly and the manager stepped out before the audience in the last degree of agitation. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he said, “I am distressed to have to tell you that the great and beloved actor, Mendel Kalb, has just had a fatal heart attack in his dressing room and we cannot continue.”
Whereupon a formidable middle-aged woman in the balcony rose and cried out, “Quick! Give him some chicken soup.”
The manager, surprised, said, “Madam, I said it was a fatal heart attack. The great Mendel Kalb is dead.”
The woman repeated, “So quick! Give him some chicken soup!”
The manager screeched in desperation, “Madam! The man is dead! What good will chicken soup do?”
And the woman shouted back, “It couldn’t hurt?”
After all is said and done, more is said than done.
Billy was saying his prayers as his father passed by his bedroom door.
“God bless Mommy, and God bless Daddy, and please make Calais the capital of France.”
“Billy,” inquired his father, “why do you want Calais to be the capital of France?”
The boy replied, “Because that’s what I wrote in my geography test!”
My mail is a little slow. Last month my flower seeds came as a bouquet.
A father in a hurry taking his 8-year-old son to school, makes a turn at a red light where it isn’t allowed. “Uh-oh, I just made an illegal turn!” the man said.
“That’s OK Dad,” the son says, “The police car right behind us did the same thing.”
“Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.”
The psychiatrist was not expecting the distraught stranger who staggered into his office and slumped into a chair.
“I’m losing my memory, Doctor,” he sobbed. “What should I do?”
“Pay me in advance.”
“Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.”
One day a man was walking in the woods when he got lost. For two days he roamed around trying to find a way out. He had not eaten anything during this period and was famished.
Over on a rock ledge he spotted a bald eagle. He killed it, and started to eat it. Surprisingly, a couple of park rangers happen to find him at that very moment, and arrested him for killing an endangered species.
In court, he plead innocent to the charges against him, claiming that if he didn’t eat the bald eagle he would have died from starvation. The judge ruled in his favor.
In the judge’s closing statement he asked the man, “I would like you to tell me something before I let you go. I have never eaten a bald eagle, nor ever plan on it. What did it taste like?”
The man answered, “Well, it tasted like a cross between a whooping crane and a spotted owl!”
“It is the ability to take a joke, not make one, that proves you have a sense of humor.”
An applicant was filling out a job application. When he came to the question, “Have you ever been arrested?” he wrote, “No.”
The next question, intended for people who had answered in the affirmative to the previous question, was “Why?”
The applicant answered it anyway: “Never got caught.”
I am always sharpening my sleeping skills…
I remember this time that I took Lewis to a celebratory dinner at a really posh restaurant. We walked in, were ushered to a table by a formally dressed maitre d’, and sat down at a table on which were displayed the finest china and crystal. Taking the damask napkin from the solid silver napkin ring, Lewis unfolded it, put it around his neck and proceeded to tie a knot in the back.
Staring at him, the maitre d’ said, between gritted teeth, “Sir, will you have a shave or a haircut?”
Each person has inside a basic decency and goodness. If he listens to it and acts on it, he is giving a great deal of what it is the world needs most. It is not complicated but it takes courage . . . to listen to his own goodness.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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