the power of choice

Sam Beckett- wisely using his power of choice – back tail

 “I voted for the Democrats because I didn’t like the way the Republicans were running the country. Which is turning out to be like shooting yourself in the head to stop your headache.”
–Jack Mayberry

Viva Emptiness. People can be just like a pool. You can take that comment any way you like… Anyway, let us move on to the power of choice. I was reading an interesting article recently.  An attorney from Texas, Neal Boortz, gave a commencement address to the recent graduates of Texas A&M. Reading it, I don’t think it was what they expected.  He spoke of Liberal views. He spoke about the young and the fact that they had the luxury of being in a position to be Liberals. He talked about “Using wisely your power of choice.”

He went on to tell the graduates that, “Liberals use the phrase “less fortunate” … it implies a few things. To imply that one person is homeless, destitute, dirty, drunk, unemployable and generally miserable because he is “less fortunate” is to imply that a successful person-one with a job and a future- is in that position because they are “fortunate”. The dictionary says that fortunate means “having derived good from an unexpected place.” There is nothing unexpected about deriving good from hard work. There is also nothing unexpected about deriving misery from choosing drugs, alcohol and the street.”

use wisely your power of choice

After further wonderful raw naked reality, the graduates were left with the following pearls of wisdom. “The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms. We have the right to work hard and make good choices. Highly successful people don’t clock out at five. The losers are caught up in afternoon traffic. Winners drive home in the dark. Proclaim your rarity. Each of you is a unique human being. Use wisely your power of choice. Go the extra mile. Drive home in the dark.” I just found the speech interesting. Thank you to Brian Fick for the image. Skate- Ozzie


11 thoughts on “the power of choice

  1. I respect people that have a balanced life with time for their children if they have them and are doing something they like and that, maybe, advances humanity. These types of people many not make much money. Worker drones working long hours for big checks that contribute nothing to humanity are trite and unimpressive even if their neighborhood and golf games are better. Of course, there are people that somehow do what they love in creative and challenging endeavors and also make big money while still having time for their family and health. Also, there are many talented individuals working their asses off for peanuts that are unable to advance because of conditions that are not necessarily their fault. And that is a fact.

  2. Be the one driving home from work in the dark. This guy no doubt thinks he’s a family man. How much you wanna bet he’s either divorced and/or his family hardly knows him/can’t stand him.

    • Right? Besides, if you’re the one driving home in the dark, you’ve got no chance of skating or surfing after work. The smart ones are dealing with the traffic, while it’s still light (!!!), so they can get back to the things that make them get up in the morning.

  3. That being said, I would agree that money does not determine who wins and who loses and it sure as hell has nothing to do with happiness. Let those who want the big bucks drive home in the dark to count their greedy swag. I’ll be happily skating the park and enjoying the second best thing my tax dollars ever paid for..the first being the freedom and security I have every day.

  4. The idea that America’s success is the result of the misery and impoverishment and at the expense of others is incorrect. The exact opposite is true. America has “dragged up” the world and not dragged it down. America has done more to help other nations than all other world governments put together. It is far from a perfect system but it is the best system of government around and far superior to the alternatives. Of course there will still be misery and suffering and poverty but it is still the country that offers the most hope for mankind. Straying away from our constitution is what gets us in trouble

    • Cool discussion. This probably isn’t the best forum for it- but the hell with it- I’m curious.

      I believe in the Constitution and the founding documents… that our “system” was designed with the understanding that all men, not just Americans, were created equal and endowed with the unalienable right to pursue happiness. I want to believe that our Constitution is like de Chardin’s Omega Point dragging the world up to some sacred existence in the future. But I’m skeptical. The problem with our current system is that it has not reached its potential- the ideals of the founders have not been met. How can Wal-Mart produce such cheap tee-shirt? A similar question could have been asked in Boston before the Civil War. Slave labor produces cheap cotton… and we purchase cheap tee-shirts. But the frontier is gone man. We can’t go any further West, the South lost the war, and the people of China are about to own smart phones. America dragged the world up. I agree. We stepped on a few heads to get to the surface… but soon we’ll have lots and lots of company. I’d like to believe that “a rising tide lifts all boats”- but I tend to believe that the naked truth is much harsher than that. Today’s corporate business model, in many ways, mimics the plantation system… but the world is now flat. Are we from North or from the South? Do we buy fair trade coffee? Every dollar we spend is a choice…a vote. The power of choice is deeply entwined in American ideals. There’s some irony here. It used to be that factory work was outsourced to 3rd world nations throughout the Earth. Today, there are a million doctors in India that can read a digital MRI… and they are paid less than $10,000 per year. Why choose an American doctor? Or an American lawyer? Or an American architect? Pretty soon the world will have access to the American rights and ideals that we supposedly believe in … but I don’t think they will choose American goods (since we don’t have any) or American professionals (because we are too expensive). They will likely choose our survival-of-the-fittest mentality and drive us into the ground. I hope not. What will happen when the slaves of the world demand their unalienable rights? Will they turn to the American Constitution as a source of enlightenment… or will they burn it as a symbol of their oppression? Fredrick Douglas struggled with this dilemma throughout his lifetime. I think he literally, and publically, changed his mind at the end of his career. I wonder what side of the debate the world will choose. Will they pay for a more expensive cup of coffee and tee-shirt?

      • Pardon my French, but fuck the Constitution. Now, I don’t say that as an anarchist or a Communist or anything. I say that as a person of color with a law degree. The Constitution was written for the world as the Founding Fathers knew it. Blacks weren’t people and, therefore, got no protection under the Constitution. Women were people, but had few rights. The Constitution only knows a world of black and white, but the U.S. is now a world of multiple races, many of them mixed with the others. The Constitution became outdated over a century ago, yet we still hold onto it as if it can solve all of our societal ills. It cannot. This is why we now have the Supreme Court interpreting that document. That’s the best they can do with such an archaic text. And their best . . . . just ain’t good enough.

        I won’t judge those who choose to drive home in the dark, spending their lives and their quality time devoted to making either themselves or someone else rich. This is not a life I choose to lead, both as a mother and a surfer. My time is more valuable than money. My kid’s childhood—his needs—make driving home in the dark laughable. I have a life to live, and it doesn’t involve working my ass off in order to die with the most toys. A happy child, a couple of surfboards and some place to skate are good enough for me. I also believe that those of us who live our lives without succumbing to the incessant search for material wealth and fame are, in fact, proclaiming our rarity every single day.

  5. Hmmm… well, I agree that we can choose to be happy -or not -but I believe that that choice can be made despite our economic situation. Happiness and wealth are not same. Some believe that a capitalistic system requires an imbalance; that for some to be rich others must be poor. I struggle with that concept. The greatest repercussions of which are really felt on a global level. We, as Americans, have such a high standard of living because others do not. If that’s the case, and I think that it may be, we should take steps to correct that imbalance. In that sense we are fortunate to be Americans. I also know lots of intelligent hard working Americans that failed in business. In many ways, long term success seems to come after hard work and good fortune. But how much of pursuing wealth is driven by our ego? I currently believe that the best mindsets do not require lots of money to be happy. Basic needs need to be met, but not wealth- i.e. swimming pools, air conditioning, etc. In any case, we should “be kind, for everyone we meet is fighting a hard battle.” That may be the naked reality.

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