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December 3, 2015

Reaping What You Sow

Patricia A. Kelly

Watching television the other night I saw Joe the Plumber, fat body decked out in camouflage gear, reaching for his Prilosec. The ad implied that little pill will keep his stomach happy, and heartburn at bay, no matter what he eats.


That appears to be the American way. We are, as a society, quite childlike, preferring quick solutions, and instant cures. “Are we there yet?”


We don’t want to pay our student loans, no matter what we agreed to, because it’s too hard. We think, rather, that free college tuition is the way to go.


Just asking, but is there such a thing as free college tuition? Doesn’t someone pay? Does the power company keep the lights on without being paid? Do professors, such as that woman in Missouri who sought muscle to help eject an actual student photographer from a demonstration, work without pay?


Oh, wait! The one percent should pay. I know that means all the greedy businessmen out there, but do you think it includes the Kardashians? The one percent can pay college tuition and the greedy banks can just eat the cost of student loans. They have plenty of money.  Who cares what agreements were signed?


Back to Joe. His stomach is fine. He can buy Prilosec at Walmart without a prescription, so he’s good.


Unfortunately, given his lifestyle, age, weight and gender, he is at very high risk for other problems. Diabetes, hypertension, heart attack or stroke, not to mention potential knee and hip replacement, all loom as future possibilities for Joe.


He’ll be able to access medical care, but there is nothing that will ever bring his body back to where it would have been if he hadn’t abused it.


We seem to live in a society where having our needs and wishes met, whether we lift a finger or not, is considered a right. According to one Maryland website, owning a cell phone is a right. We think we have a right to not only decent housing and food, but good schools, a computer at home for doing our homework, and a job with appropriate dignity. We’re even attempting to make some new rules so no one ever does anything that offends anyone in any way.


Someone did fail to consider that these new rules offend me, though.


Some black students in the University of Missouri think they have the right to create a “safe space” for themselves in the Student Union building. The white kids who had been sharing their protests, agreed to leave them to it, in a building built for all.


As for the Kardashians, “America’s First Family,” not only do they conspicuously consume everything in sight without doing any obvious work besides marketing their private lives, they get invited to the White House.


Make no mistake, though. They may not be genuine contributors to society, but they did not get rich and beautiful by sitting on that overstuffed couch you’re sitting on, eating a stuffed crust, meat lover’s pizza while you watch them.


God did not just plant those women on earth with tight abdomens, designer gowns, Brazilian-permed hair, and perfect makeup. They actually get up off their couches and work every day, toning those abs and behinds, meeting with publicists, getting fittings, etc.


And yet, even one of the Kardashians, Lamar Odom, for whom I feel so sad, was not immune to the consequences of his choices, consequences that all the money in the world could not prevent. He will live in relative luxury rather than spending the rest of his life in a trailer park in the Carolinas someplace, but he will never again have the chance to be the Lamar who could experience all the world’s wonders. (For those of you who don’t know, Mr. Odom is recovering from an alleged drug overdose)


Somebody is crashing his motorcycle right now without wearing his helmet, thus sentencing himself to life with the brain of a two year old. An elderly friend of mine was just disowned by his family, after a lifetime of abusing them. Another friend is on the edge of destitution, unwell and frequently frightened, after spending every dime that came her way in life.


Free stuff and a life without ever being offended or struggling can be a very unkind gift, if it makes people think they’re immune to the consequences of their decisions. They aren’t.


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