Caring What Others Say

Hi Movin' along, G. LIsa, Dave, boy, is my face red!

Sour Grapes and Saddle Sores

George Hirst

Caring what others say June 18, 2009

Oops! Date on Debbie Polk’s barber school. Should have been 1981, not 1951. Kind of aged you, didn’t I, Deb?

Do you care about what people say about you and your life? Do you change your lifestyle or physical habits because someone talks about what you do or how you live? Do you slow down to the legal speed limit that is recommended to give better mileage and less emissions, because someone tells you about what you are not doing? What makes you change?

In a chapter entitled, Oil and Freedom, Thomas L.Friedman writes in his book "Hot, Flat and Crowded" found a correlation between the price of oil in the oil-rich countries and the treatment of freedom; the rights of women, the rigidness of religion. He said that the oil princes' behavior went down toward citizens as oil prices went up.

Friedman called it the First Law of petro-politics, which posits the following. In oil-rich states, the price of oil and the pace of freedom seem to move in opposite directions... the higher the price goes, the less petropolist leaders care about what the world thinks or says about them. They have more disposable income to build up domestic security forces, bribe opponents, buy votes of public support, and resist international norms. P96

To my thinking, the way the oil-rich dictatorships in the east who are rich beyond all comprehension are able to say to the world, I can run my country as I wish, I do not need your support, your money--you need my oil and if you get in my way, you lose your oil.

This is not only an encouragement for us to find other sources of power and manufacture, although that is important, it is spelled out in many ways, that politicians, corporate managers, practitioners of a faith all use the power they have to take away our freedom. They do not care what we think about or say to them.

When politicians promises change and say they need your vote, they forget that it is not a rubber stamp approval for whatever they choose to do. When a person who has accumulated an audience to whatever he wants to say or do, he cannot ever forget that his personal action is not a license to insist that he is always right.

I have taken a long time to get to my intentions for this column. My intentions are that changes in all our affairs are difficult to come by because we don’t want to change our behaviors, like the way we drive our cars without thought to economy, safety or consideration of others. We do that because we have always driven that way. Politics in our nation these days is head-on about changes, too. It was said we needed to change. Proposed changes with our national economy have met resistance from people who think they see risk in things becoming worse.

It seems, however, that public opinion is being heard, solutions are being sought and changes seem possible, and that is encouraging.

However do we as individuals make changes that will benefit the whole? Do we buy only what we need, not what we want? Do we listen to people who observe the way we live and say things to us about improvements or changes? In the long run, it is not what we care about but what all of us care about. Getting what we want because we can afford it needs to include the presence of others or the needs of the whole.

I believe that changes we seek as a nation ought to happen through legislation that insures the good of all and especially recognizes the need to the poor and disenfranchised. I do not think that the accomplishments that have brought equality in the past are sufficient for improvements in our national life today. We need to empower minorities at the cost of our own majorities. We are a poverty-stricken people when we do not help others. It is not just elected persons, it is each of us that need to find ways that respect the rights and abilities of others. We do not leave national actions to lawmakers, we must demonstrate that we care about others. How do we do that? We do it by supporting a charity financially, we do it by stating our belief in a diverse population, and we put our beliefs into public statements to friends and neighbor. Yes, we care what other persons say to and about us. We also expect others to care about what we say to them.

Sour Grapes and Saddle Sores
Created by KKris. Last Modification: Saturday 27 of June, 2009 14:29:35 EDT by KKris.