Struggles everywhere, for everybody – stop the bureaucracy

Life is tough, and I’ve had the easiest of it. I have written about this before but I wanted to touch on it again tonight. Life is tough.

I was given a sliver spoon in my mouth when I was born. My dad worked hard and was rich and even famous. Some say he was the head of a royal family. Since his passing, everybody in his family – both immediate and extended – are doing fine. They are artists, directors, custom home builders, along with many other significant contributions to this great community of ours.

But there are many that aren’t so lucky. In fact, as Richard Farina, a noted writer of his day once wrote: “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.”

Too many people have been brought into this world with nothing supporting them but torture. Torture. There is no other way to look at it. They say they are doing fine now. They seem to be doing OK. Of course, I’m watching them on a TV show, where you have to be doing fine because that’s the storyline; one of hope. You gotta have hope because if you don’t have hope, you don’t have anything.

The truth is there isn’t much hope around us. There is individual courage around us. Plenty of that. Everywhere. These men and women severely abused as children are doing better now. I know some of them and they’re doing better – not fine – but better. It is true. Not fine, but doing better.

They decided to live life not run from it. They decided to do give the bullies of the world the proverbial finger and move directly into the middle of the madness and get on with the business of living. As Bob Dylan once wrote: “He not busy being born, is busy dying.”

I have no great message here, In fact, I never do. I’m not that smart, but I do extend the greatest amount of respect and support for those who raise the proverbial finger to the bullies of the world. I will stand by them and help, if my whimpering little commitment  mans anything. I will be there.

We spend way too much time not getting involved because we don’t have the time; we have to make  living; we have to provide for the kids; we have to …Oh crap! Fill in the blank.

The real truth is that we are all just too damn tired. Too tired to say something definitive, to say I don;t know the answer to that question, but I will find out for you, and get back to you.  And then, in point of fact, find out the answer and get back to the person. Not a bureaucratic response, but a real response. You can always tell the difference. The bureaucratic response always leave you scratching your head. The other elicits a nod and an acknowledgment of understanding. Clarification has that effect on you. It makes things easier not harder.

Maybe life wouldn’t be so tough if we scuttled bureaucratize – as I like to call it – and embraced simple language. Like “yes” or “no.” Not “because of the complexity of the issue we need to re-address the situation that will require a multilayered analysis that could take several months before an answer would be forthcoming.”

Probably too much to hope for.




About stevewhitmore

Former award-winning newspaperman and broadcast journalist, both radio and TV, spanning three decades. Army-trained paralegal, court bailiff and prosecutor's lead investigator for the 8th Infantry Division's Judge Advocate General's Corp., Mainz, Germany. 1973-1975.
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