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RE: The Twelve and The Power of Twelve
Tue Oct 8, 2013 08:54


RE: The Twelve and The Power of Twelve


On January 20, 1961, a young, newly inaugurated President mobilized and united a country in a short address in which HE said, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” The line resonated with Republicans and Democrats alike. For a shining moment, we felt the possibilities that emerge when we unite in the spirit of giving.

With the ongoing shut down of the federal government I have been thinking more and more about the role of our “public servants”. I do believe there was a time when giving was the primary reason politicians wanted to be politicians; public service was the reason for running for public office, and most politicians also kept their day jobs. But that time has passed. Certainly in my lifetime being a politician seems to have been much more about getting than giving.

This shift from giving to getting seems fairly universal today throughout our society. In theory people who become doctors, nurses, firemen, teachers, policeman, attorneys, and yes, politicians do so to help others. Their own compensation, though not irrelevant, was never supposed to be their primary motivation. We leave money grubbing for used car salesmen, investment bankers and ruthless venture capitalists.

I read the San Diego Union newspaper almost every day. I like to keep abreast of local events and have become, through this process, increasingly aware of local politics and local issues. In Saturday’s paper there was a front page article with the following headline: RETIRED COP SEEKING JOBLESS BENEFITS CAUSES UPROAR. The article explained how a former Sergeant in the San Diego police force chose an early retirement package that included $107,000 dollars in annual retirement payments, a special $572,000 retirement account and medical benefits, but that because this sergeant felt he had been “forced “ to retire he believed he should be eligible for state unemployment payments as well. The retired Sergeant sued and won a judgment for about $17,000 in additional unemployment compensation.

I can imagine that this former sergeant felt justified in his actions. Apparently his retirement package would have been even more lucrative if he had not been forced to retire. He left money on the table by cooperating and was just trying to get a little more of what was due him. I can imagine him thinking that, but even so his behavior is embarrassing to me as a citizen and should be to him. I am sure we are all grateful for his service over thirty years or more as a police officer. However it does seem he was generously compensated and should be thinking at least a little about those who have been paying his salary and benefits and will continue to do so for the rest of his life.

This may be a minor example in the big scheme of what is wrong with our public servants. After all, this is not the case of a corrupt politician or corrupt police officer. This is just an ordinary guy wanting to get as much as he can from the system. It’s the system that is broken and we have no one to blame but ourselves. As long as we continue to focus on what the system owes us and not what we can contribute to improve our country the more we are going to have to suffer what I see not as the long hand of the law but the wrong hand of the law. It used to be that the long hand of the law implied the ability of our legal system to ferret out criminals. With this San Diego officer it seems that the long hand of the law is more descriptive of the lengths that our legal protectors will go to enrich themselves whether justified or not. Our legal and our political system are set up to reward the greediest among us.

The Mayan shaman who I consulted with before writing my novels The Twelve and The Power of Twelve warned me that our entire world system will collapse if we do not shift our focus from taking to giving. Let’s hope our politicians in Washington start getting this message.


This entry was posted on Monday, October 7th, 2013 at 9:43 am and is filed under THE POWER OF TWELVE. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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