I think we have all had those “it seemed like a good idea at the time” moments. I know I sure have.
One for me involved what at the time seemed like a 20l-foot tall culvert pipe that went under U.S. Route 50. If I measured it today it would probably only be four feet tall. Several of the fellas from the Hoagland area and I used to spend quite a bit of time there. We would get one of my mother’s purses and attach some fishing line to it. We all would then throw it over our heads and let it sit in the middle of U.S. 50 for anyone to grab as they drove by. When the car stopped and backed up, the purse somehow mysteriously disappeared. This kept us busy for hours. Thinking back, nothing ever went wrong, but many things could have. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Growing up in the ’70s I was on the tail end of drag racing. There were two designated quarter-mile strips, both on S.R. 138 toward Danville. There were so many dangerous items attached to this one I am not sure where to even start. Probably the most dangerous of all was the guy in the middle of the two cars that started the race. At the time, this, too, seemed like a good idea.
Think with me on this for just a minute. At one time, a great deal of the population felt it was a good idea to own another person — to make them do whatever was needed to be done to make life easier for the owner. Not in all cases, but clearly it happened often. If they performed poorly, they could be beaten to do that job better. It only took a couple hundred years or so, but we eventually got that one corrected.
The automobile industry was forced to put labor laws in place that allowed workers everywhere to get breaks, eat lunch, earn vacations, and many other things we all enjoy today. Unions are now in place to protect the rights of employees.
We now have strict laws on alcohol and tobacco that were not always with us. Also, there are driving laws in place to protect us. These are just a few examples of how as a society we didn’t always have the best systems and laws in place. It may take some time, even years, but eventually, what seemed like a good idea that really wasn’t was corrected.
Will the flaws in place today run the same course as the issues of the past?
In our world today we are experiencing a few issues society is desperately trying to get corrected. Below are just a few off the top of my head:
No. 1 — Student loan forgiveness.
No. 2 — We have some children that are under the assumption they may not be a person, but rather an animal of some sort.
No. 3 — It used to be whatever you saw on the news, there was very little doubt whether or not it was all true. Today, we can get variations of the same story depending on the channel we are watching. I heard (maybe it’s true) that the media has only an 11% approval rating from those watching.
No. 4 — Though there can be very few exceptions, we are born as a male or as a female. Today, we can change that if we desire. Either through surgery or by simply claiming we have made a change and we then can demand all others to submit to our new desire.
We all know that getting 100% of the people to agree on everything 100% of the time will never happen. We are all entitled to live our lives as best as we see fit if our choices do not take away the free choices of others.
My hope is that like the things we have faced and conquered in the past, we will eventually get the new items we face today corrected as well. Just because it seems like a good idea at the time doesn’t always mean it was.
Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.