Russell’s Ramblings

Those who do not hear the music might think the dancer mad

Following the Moral Compass

JR EwingMention the word “Dallas” and depending on your age, your mind conjures up thoughts.  For some the Dallas Cowboys football team.  Still others will think about the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.   And for some of us, we will remember the eighties television soap which pitted J.R. Ewing against the rest of the world.  Not long ago, I picked up the paper and read where the television series is being revived as a motion picture.  The screenplay written, we will once again likely see J.R. up to his old tricks.  J.R. Ewing, played by Larry Hagman in the series, was a notoriously dishonest and conniving businessman.  Friends, business associates, and family members were all fair game when it came to putting together his deals.  In one episode of the series, J.R. stated, “Once you give up your ethics, the rest is a piece of cake.”  In essence, for someone who places no value on ethics, anything goes.

My grandmother Russell rarely missed an episode of Dallas.  She would shake her head and say what a little devil J.R. really was.  Each week she hoped that little brother Bobby, who had the moral compass in the family, somehow got the upper hand.  He rarely did.  Years later, I remember having to make a particularly hard decision when I was President of the United States Jaycees.  It was a decision which would have a major impact on the chapters across the nation.  Politics ran deep and deals were flying here and there as everyone looked out for their particular state or region.

I remember calling my dad and he listened quite a while as I explained what was required, what concessions would have to be made, to make the deal.  My dad responded, “Son, sometimes you may have to make those concessions and stand for something that is less than what you had hoped.  But you never have to surrender your ethics.  They guide you and will continue to serve you throughout your life.”

Today, community and elected officials are caught up in bitter partisanship.  Local issues, school boards, county commissions, and even the state delegation find themselves in partisan bickering or disagreements.  In many instances, everyone is searching for the same result, just a different approach to get there.  Let’s hope they discover they don’t have to surrender their ethics to gain consensus.  Our communities, our state, our children are depending on it.

March 13, 2009 - Posted by | Politics | , , , ,

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