The Wisdoms Project


Sometimes we take action verbally, actually or by omission….that leads to negative consequences.  Regardless if those consequences happened due to lack of planning, lack of supervision, lack of understanding or were truly “unintended consequences”….they are the responsibility of the person who took the action.  And please don’t give me that “accidents will happen” and/or “extenuating circumstances” and/or “third-party involvement” crap!  It doesn’t matter.  If you took the action that caused the harm, you’re responsible for what happens. Period.  End of story.

This may surprise you, but I truly believe that one of the big villains of my lifetime was President Gerald Ford.  In 1974, he gave a full pardon beforehand to President Richard Nixon and thereby, precluded any investigation, possible trial or probable legal punishment of Nixon for raping the U.S. Constitution.  It was a horrible precedent.  It set a terrible and far-reaching example.

The consequences of Ford’s action have been 35 years (so far) of a “We Can Get Away With It” attitude by many politicians, business leaders and bureaucrats.  This unfortunate, but correct understanding that lying, cheating and abusing power will go unpunished has given us Bush/Cheney dragging us into an unnecessary and devastating war; five cigarette company CEO’s swearing under oath on TV that “Smoking is not addictive;” Department of Interior Minerals Management Service regulators overlooking oil well drilling safety infractions in 2010 when given sex and drug parties by oil company lobbyists.

Our culture is rife with these and many, many more instances of unpunished wrong-doing.  It has infected our society right down to the thug who is thinking about mugging you tomorrow for your wallet.  He knows all too well that he probably will get away with it…or if caught, will get only probation.  Hell, the top politicians, the top business people, the regulators themselves get away with mugging us big time all the time. No hearings….no perjury charges….no firings!

Maybe instead of a few mid-level people quietly resigning once in a while, we need some top level people to be loudly fired regularly.  Maybe we need to hang a few of these people in the public square at high noon on TV to teach us all a forgotten lesson, to straighten us out again and to get our self-dignity and honor back!

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you in trouble.
What really gets you in trouble are the things you know that ain’t so.
Mark Twain

Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences.
Norman Cousins

Whenever good and evil compromise, evil always wins.
Ayn Rand

People are more often bribed by their loyalties and ambitions than by money.
                                                                       Robert H. Jackson

Perpetual devotion to what a person calls their business is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Forgive your enemies….but never forget their names.
John F. Kennedy

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said
            and that people will forget what you did
        ….but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou

Nobody ever forgets where they buried the hatchet.

Some of us drive our German car made of Swedish steel and Argentine leather interior to the Dutch-owned gas station where we fill up with Saudi Arabian oil that was shipped in a Liberian tanker and also buy two French tires composed of rubber from Sri Lanka.

Upon arriving home, we put down our Moroccan briefcase, hang up our Scottish wool jacket or sweater, remove our Italian shoes and Egyptian cotton shirt, then don a Hong Kong robe and matching slippers made in Taiwan.

More comfortable now, we pour a cup of hot Brazilian coffee into our English coffee mug, set a Mexican place mat on an Irish linen tablecloth atop a Danish table varnished with linseed oil from India.

As we turn on our Korean stereo, we take out some stationery made of Canadian pulp, reach for a Japanese ballpoint pen and write a letter to our Congressperson demanding to know why the United States has such an unfavorable balance of trade.

If you shut up truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.
Emile Zola

With the land and possessions of America rapidly passing into the hands of a favored few….with thousands of men and women in idleness and want….with wages constantly tending to a lower level….with the knowledge that the servants of the people are bought and sold in legislative halls at the bidding of corporations and individuals….with all these notorious evils sapping the foundations of popular government and destroying personal liberty….some rude awakening must come.  And if it shall come, when you look abroad over the ruin and desolation….remember the long years in which the storm was rising and do not blame the thunderbolt.
                                                                     Clarence Darrow (1934)

The speed of communications is wondrous to behold.  
It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue.
Edward R. Morrow

That old law about “An eye for an eye” leaves everybody blind.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

The stupid neither forgive nor forget.  
The naïve forgive and forget.  
The wise forgive, but do not forget.
Thomas Szasz

Common sense needs constant reappraisal.
Albert Einstein

You need a license to have a dog, drive a car, get married,
cut hair….but not to make and raise a baby??!!

Sometimes the best way to convince someone that they are wrong
….is to let them have their way.
Red O’Donnell

The worst thing that can happen to you can be the best thing for you
….if you don’t let it get the best of you.
Will Rogers

Surrender is a perfectly acceptable alternative in extreme circumstances.

If you make peaceful revolution impossible
                                            ….you make violent revolution inevitable.
John F. Kennedy, Jr.

The people were dissatisfied with the party leadership.
We couldn’t change the people….so we changed the leaders.
Alexander Dubcek

Every gun that is made, every rocket that is fired symbolizes a theft from those who are hungry and are not fed and from those who are cold and are not clothed.
Dwight Eisenhower

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.
Frederick Douglass

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
….deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin