Integrity Matters Broadcasts
October 9, 2008
The Bad News is - by way of reminder – that the $700 Billion investment by American taxpayers - is not the solution, but the beginning of “paying the piper” for our self-indulgences. Unfortunately, a society that sanctions a “greed-driven” value-system – as portrayed in the Michael Douglas film: “Wall Street” – is likely to precipitate a crisis, like our current one. See my October 8 Integrity Matters column to focus on where we are: Bailout worries Main Street.
The Good News – which is not all that reassuring – is that we are not the first culture to experience the chicanery of those in power along side those who want something for nothing. Seems the Ancient Romans, at least from the observations of Cicero, watched their citizens, from top to bottom, behave similarly.
"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance." Cicero, 55 BC
The Bad News continues to be that Americans, in alarmingly larger numbers, believe that if they want it, and if those in authority tell them they are entitled to it, then miraculously, like manna from heaven, whatever they desire will be “provided” to them – little or no effort required. And, this garbage is being sold (and enthusiastically bought) by a secular society that has voted for a complete separation between church and state. If ever there were miracles being promoted, where more obvious than among the promises of our politicians, where one is given something for nothing?
Just because I want to represent my nation in the Olympic high jump, and my society tells me all folks are created equal, does not mean that I do not have to fulfill the requirement to ready myself and qualify – in order to be chosen to compete. Even then my success is not guaranteed.
Simply because I hope to live the American dream, being in position to “enjoy” the same social, economic and cultural rewards of those who already “have” what I “want” - does not mean that I am not required to earn it. Whispering “sweet nothings” in the ears of voters, pandering to their self-centeredness and short-sightedness, does not mean that they are suddenly qualified to receive a highly-leveraged loan for home ownership. Wealth, fame and power – at least for most people – mere Middle Class mortals – comes before work only in the dictionary.
Perhaps it is time to suggest prayer – the real kind of prayer that is first and foremost about listening. The time is now to pay attention to what is happening and make sure – each person through his or her actions – to blow the whistle when fraudulent behaviors threaten to undo what has been, and could be again, an effective and powerful economic and political system. If a deal sounds too good to be true; then very likely, it is! Charlatans come in many forms – from false prophets selling “house-of-cards” loans to sophisticated “hustlers” with articulate and flawed schemes to steal money. As Forrest Gump said: “Stupid is as stupid does.” So, where are we now? We are S.O.S. – Stuck On Stupid! However, there is some good news that can help right the ship and put an entire nation back on track. To make the improvements will require some serious discipline.
Rules of Happiness - adapted - from someone who earned the respect of millions: David O. McKay
- Develop yourself by self-discipline.
- Joy comes through creation - sorrow through destruction. Do things which are hard to do.
- Entertain up-building thoughts. What you think about when you do not have to think shows what you really are.
- Do your best this hour, and you will do better the next.
- Be true to those who trust you.
- Pray for wisdom, courage, and a kind heart.
- Remember that self-indulgence, jealousy, avarice and worry will deaden [creative and constructive] responses, pray to the Lord to wipe out these impediments.
- True friends enrich life. If you would have friends, be one.
- Faith is the foundation of all things - including happiness.
In closing - continue listening!
Success is when you add value to your life.
Significance is when you add value to other lives.
If you are successful, you will be remembered throughout your career.
If you are significant, you will be remembered for generations to come.
(Source unknown 10/08/08)
James F. Bracher
Dimension Five Consultants, Inc.
Bracher Center for Integrity in Leadership
P.O. Box 22467
Carmel, California 93922
James F. (Jim) Bracher, Director
Executives in Residence
University Corporation at Monterey Bay
California State University Monterey Bay
100 Campus Center,
Building 201 - Suite 101
Seaside, California 93955
Phone: (831) 582-5015
Phone: direct: (831) 582-5038
(831) 582-5019 Fax