Thinking About Turkeys

28 Nov
You are what you eat, consumer. My favorite preacher said two things, the calendar and the checkbook, indicate what we value. "They don't lie."

You are what you eat, consumer. My favorite preacher said two things, the calendar and the checkbook, indicate what we value. “They don’t lie.”

Life is funny. And all too often not the ha-ha kind. We obsess over vanity, media hype and a lot of other stuff instead of important things like how our families, neighbors and communities are doing.

For instance, Kim Kardashian, who I’m told is famous for being famous, recently bared her backside in a magazine photo shoot, and the prattling classes, of course, had to fixate on her “break the Internet” publicity stunt. I don’t know which to be more mad at — the media and ‘Twittersphere’ for taking the bait or her for calling it an “art project” designed to boost her self-confidence.

Then there’s Ray Rice, the NFL and Jameis Winston. The first did the unthinkable when knocking out his eventual wife (on camera) in an elevator. In its bungling of the domestic abuse case, the NFL almost gave the former Baltimore Ravens offensive standout, whom my cousin called “probably the most cocky guy I ever met in my [sports wealth management] days,” some defensive ground to stand on. As for the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, aka ‘Shameis Jameis,’ he recently added a referee shove to his list of infractions that include shouting public obscenities, attempting to steal crab legs from a grocery store and an alleged and still-under-investigation sexual assault.

I often wonder why we argue political issues. Is it because our daddy voted one way all of his life? Or perhaps because a certain 24-7 news channel floods us with slanted commentary? I’d rather focus on the issues (information before opinion) and, for example, I can’t see how 10 to 20 million more of my fellow Americans getting health insurance is a bad thing. A good friend and former legislative director for a U.S. senator told me recently, “Putting people on Medicaid is no great win — talk to anyone who has ever tried to do that paperwork or find a doctor who takes Medicaid.” Better than those people dying, I say.

Speaking of health issues, my little brother from fraternity days recently had a big milestone in his amazing recovery from “necrotizing pancreatitis, a disease where your pancreas ‘eats’ itself which, in turn, affects the kidney, liver and various digestive processes. I went through 13 surgeries, dialysis and had a bout of psychosis where I saw things. I am still learning how to walk.” After finally getting out of the hospital, Willy wrote, “It’s still not easy — I am now a Type 1 diabetic, I can’t walk well and I have five tubes coming out of my lung, abdomen and stomach. However, I am dealing with it all.” And I probably stressed about traffic the very next day. Give me the Turkey Award on this one!

If you’re like this humble blogger you spend way too much time on trivial things such as saving a buck here or finding a beer special there and way too little time putting money in the offering plate at church or in the hand of the down-on-his-luck man at the end of the interstate off ramp. Let’s keep things in perspective and be thankful for what we have. Happy Thanksgiving!

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