Know when to walk away

Do I have an opinion on most anything? I know I do. Some of my opinions I am very passionate about, while others not at all. When I started writing columns for The Times-Gazette I made a promise to myself that I would do my best to stay away from stating my opinions on the controversial topics. I am more the light-hearted guy that poses the questions that get us all thinking.

Like everyone else, I feel my opinions are correct. How often do we ever see ourselves as incorrect? I do not see myself as a leader. I am not that special. To me it is like when we see actors on TV tell us who to vote for. How does their ability to entertain us qualify them to advise us about politics? My hope is that I have held true to my promise.

Have you noticed that there are so many angry people among us today? There have always been disagreements, but it appears that it has grown to a level that I never thought possible. No one can disagree that there are so many hot buttons in our world today. Just to name a few: politics, abortion, racism, gay marriage, LGBTQ, what gender you want to be identified as, too much government, not enough government, minimum wage, the welfare system, gas prices, lumber prices, taxes. I am sure you get the point with this abbreviated list.

In the past most Americans had strong views on some things, but today we have so much to debate about. Just say the word and the fight is on.

The “Godfather Trilogy” has been a favorite of mine for many years. I can’t even guess how many times I have watched all three of them. Each time I always notice something new. In Godfather 1, while at a meeting of the five families, Vito Corleone is presented with the idea to get into the drug business. The pressure is immense for him to approve, but he wants no part of it. His oldest son is the next in line for being the new head of the family. “Sonny” is a noted hothead that flies off the handle on a regular basis. This meeting was no exception. Sonny acted as expected. His father took him aside later and was very upset. He told him,” Never let anyone outside the family know what you’re thinking.”

Why do we always feel we need to speak our mind? Does the listener even care to hear our thoughts? Does anyone?

Today we see countless things that are just not right that happen each day. They may be laws put in place, maybe a city ordinance of some kind, or even something that has been done that way for years and it just does not work for all. It does not make these things right just because that is the way it is. But I must wonder, if we cannot change it, does it even matter how we react to it?

A friend of mine once told me something I will never forget about three things we should always do before we speak on something. I am not sure who the author is, but how much different would our world be if we all followed these very simple rules before speaking? Ask yourself is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?

Now, there are many things that do deserve our anger. There are so many issues and people that may not have a voice that need our help. Things that we can help to make the changes needed for the betterment for all. But it seems to me that a lot of Americans today feel that way about everything.

I must wonder if every issue we face is worth upsetting us over. You have been there, I am sure. Your day is ruined. Your stomach is a mess. Or worse yet, you have a list of people to apologize to. Maybe what was said was not meant the way we took it. Maybe we do not know the backstory to what just happened. Could it be that we all need to have a little thicker skin at times? Or maybe the issue at hand is not our issue to even face. Maybe it belongs to another and we should let them keep it.

Most of my life I have struggled with getting angry way too soon. The few times I have resisted I found that my anger was not warranted at all. At times, things can just kind of work themselves out if we do nothing. Most will agree that there is no sure-fire way to handle adversity that works each time. I for one plan on using the three-step process to handle things I am faced with: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?

Or maybe we should be like Kenny Rodgers says in “The Gambler:” “You got to know when to walk away and know when to run.”

Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.

Randy Butler Contributing columnist Butler Contributing columnist