For what should we be thankful
Over the last decade or so we have, as a nation, moved away from why Thanksgiving Day was established. Many now are planning that day around shopping on Thursday to get the best deals for the Black Friday shopping weekend. Others are planning the big family meal around football or other sports events. That is the right of each family and their priorities. It does, however, take the next generation one step further away from a tradition of reflecting on that for which we should be most thankful. Considering all the problems that we have as a society today, it seems to me that we should, during these times, make Thanksgiving more focused on prayer and hope rather than less.
Please consider planning now how your family can set aside at least some time Thursday to give your thanks in prayer to all that you have as well as pray for all our future.
Include in that prayer a call for common sense in all our interactions with others, including those in our government. That common sense was what made this nation and state strong.
Recently, someone sent me an email that focused on some of the basic things that we grew up with that define common sense.
Certainly, being able understand that it is good to know when to come in out of the rain is one of those. Likewise, the same could be said about going ahead and getting a job done, often referred to as “the early bird gets the worm.” This phrase was often used when our parents were trying to get us going to get the job done; and the world will notice and reward you. Understanding that it is a positive to admit that sometimes things are your fault and that life is not always fair, so accept it. In your financial dealings, always watch what you are earning and don’t spend more than that.
In recent years, we have watched as common sense has been eroded all around us. The following are some examples of things that would never have been acceptable in earlier generations.
Parents attacking teachers for doing the job they themselves have failed to do by not disciplining their unruly children. Schools charging a six-year-old boy with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate. Teens being suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch. Teachers being reprimanded and even fired for disciplining unruly students. Another example of not using common sense is when administrators must have permission from parents to allow a student to have an aspirin, much less take one, yet are barred from informing parents when a student is pregnant and wants and seeks to get an abortion.
Law enforcement, likewise, has been handcuffed to give criminals better treatment than victims and law-abiding citizens. Our judicial system sometimes provides options for criminals who can sue you for assault as you try to protect your family in your home.
Loss of common sense can be found in every other phase of our lives whether it be church, youth sports, healthcare, or food packaging. We see our lives tied up in miles of red tape rather than simply getting along with each other and treating each other as friend rather than foe.
Likewise, it seems too many people are unwilling to live their lives responsibly and not blame others. Consider the lady who bought a cup of hot coffee from the McDonald’s drive through and placed it between her legs on the seat. When she spilled the coffee, she sued McDonalds even though she was the one who chose to use the drive through; even though she was the one to not use a cupholder. It is you and I who pay the price for her lack of judgement. Other restaurants have had to adjust to avoid similar lawsuits whether it be cooler coffee or more expensive coffee to pay for higher insurance costs.
As the email was sent to me, it was the obituary of Common Sense. It went on to say that Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents – Truth and Trust, his wife – Discretion, his daughter – Responsibility, and his son – Reason.
He was survived by his 5 stepchildren: I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, I’m A Victim, and Pay Me For Doing Nothing.
Pray that common sense is not really dead but is simply in a coma. That working together we can revive it. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
FRANK RUFF JR. serves as the 15th District senator in Virginia. He can be reached at Sen. Ruff@verizon.net, (434) 374-5129 or P.O. Box 332, Clarksville, VA 23927.