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Know Jack #250 Common Good

I read on Facebook, so it must be true, that if you act like a smartass, but you’re not smart—you’re just an ass. I’ll embrace my stupidity and settle for being an ass. Addressed in such a fashion, you know what’s coming. Last chance to avert your eyes before being mooned, figuratively speaking.

I am somewhat confounded by the resurgence of a large portion of the population’s concern with the good of their fellows. Seems to me like a year ago self-love was king of popular psychology. It has been superseded by the “good of all.”

This is not overly concerning to me except for the random application of this overriding good people are so zealously guarding. The legal statutes are replete with laws enacted to ensure the common good. Subject to these statues are citizens who completely ignore them without a second thought for those around them.

Traffic laws come immediately to mind. Speed limits exist to keep everyone safe on the highways and byways. Safe from whom, you ask? Themselves and one another—the good of all. Not to brag, but I know people who will testify that am very diligent about observing the speed limit. Yet, I admit I occasionally endanger the public by not obeying them.

I find it baffling that no one has yet to call me selfish for doing so. Perhaps they are too involved honking, gesturing, and speeding around me to think about my selfishness. I’m sure they call me other more colorful things, but I’ve never heard selfish.

If you a habitual speeder, and flaunter of public safety? Never fear, I don’t call you selfish for racing by me. Yeah, I like the colorful words too.

Oh, while I am thinking of the good of all in this frame of reference, I am sitting next to my editor who is recovering from multiple broken bones and internal injuries because another driver did not obey the traffic laws and blew through a red light.

I have yet to consider that other driver selfish. Criminal, yes, selfish, no. Meanwhile. I have been robbed of my irreplaceable time by that same criminal. I think I’m safe in saying that not a single governor has appeared on television denouncing speeders this year despite the number of fatalities and hospitalizations they cause. Why is that?

Is the good of all a precept you live by—a reflection of the Golden Rule that is active in your life. Or is it simply a badge of caring and selflessness to wear on Facebook? Does anyone know what you call a person who preaches one thing and violates their own precept? Just wondering.


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