These days we often seem to bounce around in life’s pin-ball machine, feeling that much around us is out of control. We are distracted by a barrage of information as the media pulls us this way and that. Generally, whichever news story has the hottest video footage or the most startling sound byte is pumped up to become the “important” story of the day, or the week. Example: Sandra Fluke and her birth control.
I’m as guilty as anybody else. I get upset and pumped up over things that are insignificant, both on a personal scale and in the bigger scheme of things. When I find myself getting a little over-wound, I find it helpful to do a personal priority check. What are the most important things to me, and in what order?
My top priorities always pertain to my family. Are we healthy? Are we safe from physical harm? Are we financially okay? Are we generally happy and fulfilled? Are we preparing for our future?
Our brilliant founding fathers established a government that is “of” the people, and that carries responsibility. It is our duty as citizens to prioritize the makeup and the work of our government. Maybe it’s time we do a government priority check. What are the most important things that our government should do, and in what order?
I look at government the same way I do insurance. I see government as a way that I can spend a portion of my personal resources to do the things I can’t do by myself. Individually I can’t defend the borders of my neighborhood, much less my state or nation. But I am willing to join other citizens to give some of my time or money for that purpose, because it is a priority for my family. I can’t build a highway. I can’t put out a big fire. I can’t do brain surgery. You get the picture.
Of course I can only spend a portion of my time and money on these shared priorities, because I have my own personal priorities to attend to. So my government priority list is fairly short. Our brilliant founding fathers had a short list too; it’s called the Constitution.
Lately I find that many of my government’s top priorities are way down my family priority list, or not on my list at all. Our leaders operate like the “Candy Man”. They believe they can keep adding benefits to those already in place, without limit, and without having to prioritize. Irresponsible voters endorse that fantasy, but realists know it can’t go on.
It’s time for a good, hard look at priorities. Our own personal priorities come first, of course, and our government priorities are an extension of that. As we consider each government activity at our schools, our city and county commissions, our state and federal governments – as we consider the “Fiscal Cliff” – we must compare our government’s priorities with our own family priority lists. If they don’t match up, we owe it to our families to do something about it.
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side
The government takes everything we make
To pay for all of their solutions
Health care, climate change, pollution,
Throw away the Constitution!