Sunday, March 29, 2009

What Sort of Life Would You Have?

At my age I check the obits in my local paper frequently. Many of them sound like this:

Lxxxx M. Mxxxx, 89, died unexpectedly Saturday, March 7, at her home. She was the wife of the late Jxxxx M. Mxxxx, who died in 2000. She was born in Our-Town, the daughter of the late Txxxx and Axxxx Bxxx, and lived in Our-Town all her life. She was a lifelong member of the Local Church and a member of the former Club of the Parish. She was employed for 20 years in the school cafeteria department, retiring in 1974. She is survived by three daughters, four grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. Her funeral will take place tomorrow, at 11 a.m., at the Local Church. Burial will be in the Our Town Cemetery. Memorial contributions in her memory may be made to, Children’s Hospital Trust.

Not that hers’ was bad, but this is what I want mine to say

Read Write and Blue, 94, died unexpectedly Saturday, March 29 at his home. He and his wife moved to Our-Town in 1992 and purchase his home in 1998. He served on several local organizations including a long tenure as a Boy Scout Troop Leader. His was a friendly face associated with many local businesses and the Chamber of Commerce. After volunteering on several political campaigns he was credited with the much of the renewed sense of civic pride in Our-Town. After he retired his voice could be heard reading stories to children at the Library. There he struck the spark of patriotism in a new generation. He is survived by a Daughter and a Son and more than a few Grandchildren. A wake is being held at Our-Town Funeral Home and after a Funeral at the Local-Church his remains will be cremated and scattered. Memorial contributions in his memory may be made to, Disabled American Veterans.

I am setting a high goal for the rest of my life because in this time men of good conscience must take the lead. Every hour news reports shower us with the evidence that corruption has infected every corner of our republic. Some believe that this requires more laws or more vigorous prosecutors to protect us from these venial actors and their crimes. Those who believe that are wrong. While we have more laws that ever before, we also have more criminals in (and paroled from) prison that ever before. No Matter how many laws or how large police forces they will not be able to secure us from such flawed individuals and would severely abridge our freedoms.

What is called for is a renewal of our sense of personal ethics. It is the duty of every American to act morally and to up hold the ethical standards of their professions. We must demand moral behavior from our leaders and all those we interact with. Our children must be taught ethics and shown ethics by the examples of adults around them. Mencius a Chinese philosophers from 300 BC said, “If I am only moved by profit then how can I expect others to be moved by duty?” It was true then and it is true today. What are you going to do? When you have left this world what do want to be said about you?