Be Careful

Caution is advisable in a world full of risks. Thinking twice…and perhaps three times is a good thing before proceeding on a new or different venture. I was listening to the Reverend Al Sharpton, recently, who said that he had advised a group to be careful to realize the gains that had been attained and to not let rhetoric obscure reality. I was reminded when I, on behalf of the Civil Service Council representing nearly 2,000 civil service staff…requested from university administration that Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale close its doors, on Veteran’s Day, in honor of our precious veterans. This discussion had been going no-where for over 20 years until we asked for simply the University to recognize the sacrifice or our veterans, both living and dead, as well as the 100’s who were part of the University Community to be afforded a day off of work to reflect and pray and remember their fallen brothers and sisters. Having heard the contention that we just wanted another day off… we noted that to recognize the holiday when it occurred Monday – Friday would be a wonderful consideration for our Campus.

Success is incremental. Whether in a public setting or our private lives. Sometimes we feel like Jerry Seinfeld from his popular show in the 90’s. Jerry noted in an episode that when he pops the top on a can of soda…all he hears is the fizz and is provided a sweet drink. The soda did not produce the beautiful women or parties or surfing or ecstatic fun…that he had observed on commercials on television. Advertisement and the exuberance of lofty speeches and super heated emotions…can be a significant let-down to concrete reality of moving forward in a positive direction. A good example of a recent positive compromise is the bi-partisan infrastructure bill.

Carefulness was a recent hallmark of a life well lived in our country. After WW II our veterans came home and married and went to university on the G.I. Bill. They had risked their lives…and seen many of their friends die…and observed the devastation across Europe and the United Kingdom…and they were careful with their lives…and their loved ones…and their money…and their time. My and MJ’s parents knew what it was like to be hungry and jobless and without much hope during the Great Depression. When they emerged from the other side of the economic calamity…they saved their money…they abhorred debt…they looked askance at hucksters and snake oil salesmen. They verified…and then they trusted.

Skepticism is a health emotion…when lies are being told as truth.

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