One of my favorite song lyrics is a line in a song by the Rolling Stones. The song was written way in 1969 and was voted in the top 100 of the greatest songs of all time. I think it rings true for all of us: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try some time, you might find, you get what you need.”
I found out later that growing up, I had great parents. I cannot remember not having what I needed for school or anything I was involved in. They provided all the necessary items I always needed. I do not think I ever did without any basic need.
But, like Mr. Mick Jagger states, my wants, that was another story. Now, I did receive a lot of my wants, but those were pretty much up to me to make happen. Dad would never think of taking any candy to work with him to sell on my behalf. The normal raising money for activities happened, but the work part of it was all mine. That was true with most of my wants. My parents did not jump in and make my wants happen. I had to work for what I wanted.
Is it just me or does it seem today that Mick Jagger’s statement is no longer true? Doesn’t it seem like our wants are almost being expected to be given to us? I am not even thinking about helping anyone we see that has a need and are unable to help themselves. I am thinking more along the lines of people that are able to supply the needs themselves, but are unwilling to do so — the ones that feel someone else will supply their wants if they wait long enough.
As I have said before, I have no formal education like a lot of you. I do hope that in my 60 years I have acquired the ability to think through most things logically and clearly. Using those skills that I hope I have, I have concluded that when we try so hard to build a society to where no one loses, then no one will win either. I believe strongly that we all will be winners at times and losers at other times. We won’t always be the best, first, have the most, and so on. But that’s OK. The times we lose can teach us great lessons. These times can teach us to try harder, be more prepared, or even recognize that we are not as good as we thought. I do not think there is anyone out there that enjoys losing, but it happens to us all at some point.
Just off the top of my head, here are just a few of the items that I question if they are teaching the right lessons.
1. Telling all children at the end of a game that everyone’s a winner, and no one loses. Is it a bad thing to reflect on their performance?
2. Offering bonuses for workers to stop taking money for being off work to go back to work. Would it make more sense to stop paying them to stay home instead?
3. Asking citizens that got the Covid vaccine to wear a mask so as not to single out the ones that did not?
4. Being told that we must not only accept, but agree with, every choice those around us make. Why is it wrong to have an opinion?
5. Going to any of the large retail stores and being forced to work as a checkout person, then being told as we leave they must check to make sure we did it correctly. (This one is more of an annoyance, I guess.)
6. Being told that we are all entitled to be homeowners, drive new cars, have a good-paying job that supplies what we need, never coming in second or heaven forbid, last place at anything.
Please feel free to disagree with me on this. But, as it appears to me, we have all the right to become whatever we choose. We can choose mediocrity or we can choose greatness. We can ask to allocate help along the way or do it ourselves. There are so many choices at our disposal.
Don’t you think for all those choices the responsibility for the outcome should be up to the individual making them and to them alone?
I was told many years ago that something earned can be way sweeter than something given.
Or maybe the choice is to stick with what we need and all else will fall into place?
Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.