No. 695



There is an old saying that goes, “All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy.” Perhaps you have heard it. However, there is another saying that should follow, “All play and no work makes Johnny a candidate for the poor house.”
So what’s the answer? The correct answer is balance. This is to say that the proper amount of productive work and the proper amount of relaxing, mind cleansing, play leads to a successfully, happy life. After all, isn’t this what most of us desire? As we get older we should be able to work smarter and not have to work so hard, either physically or mentally, especially when we have all the modern tools, equipment and machinery to help us.
I believe you will agree that what I have just shared with you is a pretty good model for how life should be lived today, and in times to come. This is also true for our generation and the next, and the next and so forth. Unfortunately, there have been so many “unscripted” major events that have come along over the past few years that they have upset the balance, and none of us likes uncertainty. The powers that be say that our nation is in the worst economic recession since the days of the Great Depression. There have been so many major blunders and poor decision making on so many fronts that it would be impossible to list them all.
As I thought about this I came across a good example that will illustrate what I am saying. In the days when I grew up we used to have something called pinball machines. You would put money in a slot, usually a quarter, and a steel ball would be released at the top of a slanted board that contained “bumpers” that the ball would hit on the way down to the bottom. There were also some “flappers” that provided the one playing the game some measure of control over the path of the steel ball before it reached the end of its journey and you knew if you won or lost.
Of course, the operator had the option to bump or shake the machine in an effort to control the flight of the steel ball. If the operator was too aggressive and shook the machine too much, the machine would “tilt” and the game was over. This is where we are as a nation today. Our system is “tilted” and until we right the ship of state, the American people are going to continue to suffer. The big question many of us have is, can we spend our way into prosperity? I think you know the answer. Short-term spending for long-term gain is one thing, but unbridled long-term spending is entirely another matter. How about that guy named Bernard Madoff? They missed the spelling, as it should have been Made-off.
As an eternal optimist, I believe we will turn things around as we have in the past. In the meantime, I am going to continue to do the things I have been doing all the time. Realizing there are some things I can do something about, I will work tirelessly for those I can. Others that I can’t do anything about, I will leave to those brave souls who seek a career in public service. I am going to continue to work to make my community a better place to live, keep a positive attitude, treat others with dignity and respect, obey the laws of the land, pay my taxes, continue to write this column and encourage you to do the same.
The things that go on in Washington and on Wall Street do affect all of us, but the local community, the quality of our schools, law and order, our environment, creation of jobs and many other objectives are what really define us. Fellow citizens, let’s all pull together during these tough times.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To support literacy, buy his book: “Learning, Earning & Giving Back.”)