More Jackson County Opinions...

JULY 10, 2002


Column
By: Angie Gary
The Jackson Herald
July 10, 2002

Through the eyes of a child
Sitting in the gentle waves tapping at the ocean water as it rushes by him.
Reaching out a tentative hand to pet the horse that led the carriage ride he had just gotten off of.
A trip to the beach takes on a whole new look through the eyes of a child. Something as routine as a morning at the beach and a carriage ride become even more meaningful when you are seeing through the eyes of a baby.
My nephew Jake, who is seven months old, likely won’t remember his first visit to the ocean. However, his family will remember his reactions to his first beach trip. We will also treasure the photographs of him splashing in the shallow water and reaching out to pet the horse.
Jake also spent a lot of time “walking” with Papa. Whenever he got tired or just a little fussy, my dad would head out with him for a walk around the historic district. The shade provided by the Spanish Moss trees and the lack of much car traffic make this area a perfect place for a walk.
A trip to the beach is always a time for me to relax and rest. Most of my trips are packed full of tours, concerts and non-stop activity. My recent trip to Nashville left me tired, so I turned a business trip to Jekyll Island into a mini family vacation.
Taking Jake along was an extra treat as we all enjoy his company. In fact, my parents don’t even have to leave town. Just having their first grandchild around is all the vacation they need.
Jekyll Island is a wonderful place to visit if rest and relaxation is what you need. Sitting out on the back porch with a good book as a cool breeze blows is perfect for making the worries of the world drift away. The beaches are another place to go to put your troubles behind you. They are uncrowded and don’t have the commercialism that some of the Florida beaches are known for.
And if you have any young children in the family, take them along. The beach takes on a whole new look through the eyes of a child.

Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate editor of The Jackson Herald. She can be reached at AngieEditor@aol.com.

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Column
By: Virgil Adams
The Jackson Herald
July 10, 2002

Solving the problem of greed
Let me make myself perfectly clear. I love America. I wouldn’t trade my U.S. citizenship for anything in the world.
The rule of law and free enterprise are the right way to go.
But let’s face it. For many Americans — yours truly included — the citizen-government-business relationship is strained. To be honest with you, we are fed up with all the dishonesty. Can we do anything about it? I believe we can.
Let us turn to the second greatest book ever written. In my dictionary, economics and economy are on the same page. Economics is “a social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis of the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.” Economy is “the system of managing the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.”
Nothing wrong with those definitions.
Defining government is a bit more complicated because it is saturated with governmentese — that is, the jargon of officialdom.
Government directs the affairs of state. It is the rule, authority or control over us. Does that scare you? It does me.
However, there is nothing wrong with rule, authority or control until rule, authority and control get out of control. Because of greed, that may be happening as we speak.
Greed can mess up everything, including our perfectly good definitions of economics and economy. And it can destroy what made this country great.
Ah, enterprise! Enterprise is “an important, difficult, or dangerous undertaking.” It means “readiness to start projects, courage and energy in starting projects, as in a business venture.”
In the good ol’ U.S. of A we pride ourselves on our good ol’ American free enterprise system.
A new defintion of that system may be on the horizon: “Free to do anything that will make another buck. Lie, cheat, steal, deceive, fraud, cover-up — nothing is off limits.”
Cases in point: Enron, Arthur Anderson, Halliburton, Adelphia, RJ Reynolds, Tyco, Bristol-Myers, Global Crossings, WorldCom. And now Martha Stewart, for crying out loud! What is this world coming to?
We are about to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. We are killing our country with greed.
As you know, I depend on The Vent in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for much of my inspiration. There was this one in June 25: “It’s sad how often people who have lots of money think that success means having lots of money.”
The abundant life does not necessarily mean an abundance of things. Some folks with little are more successful — and happier — than some folks with much. Greed is absent from their lives.
Can we depend on government and business to solve our greedy problem? I’m afraid not.
This vent appeared on June 24. “Conservatives think government is corrupt and heartless and incapable of serving the public. Liberals think business is corrupt and heartless and incapable of serving the public. They’re both right!”
Ain’t it the truth? Have you ever noticed that when a corporate CEO goes astray and winds up in a bed he shouldn’t be in, there’s always a politician in there with him?
But take heart, America. I believe there is a solution to our problem with greed. It is as close as the bookshelf. It is in the second greatest volume ever written, which I mentioned a while ago. It is in the forgotten and/or ignored dictionary.
Anyone smart enough to make a million bucks is smart enough to look up greed. And anyone smart enough to look up greed is smart enough to benefit from what he finds. And if he is that smart, there must be a little bit of goodness — and common sense — deep down in his soul somewhere. I believe he’d try to change if he understood how dirty and obnoxious he has become.
Greed is a dirty and obnoxious word, dear CEO and politico. Please look it up.
OK, let me look it up for you. It means “excessive or reprehensible acquisitiveness.”
In case you are interested and don’t know, a person who is acquisitive has a stong desire to acquire or possess something. Nothing inherently wrong with that. You can acquire something by purchase, exchange or gift. The problem comes when you add lie, cheat, steal, deceive, fraud or cover-up to the mix. Then it becomes greed.
It is the quality (quality?) of wanting more than your share. It is an extreme or excessive desire to possess something — anything. And when you get it, you want more: a bigger house, a bigger car, finer clothes, more money.
Don’t stop when you’ve looked up greed in the second greatest book ever written. Check out the synonyms. There are many: avaricious, covetous, rapacious, ravenous, voracious, gluttonous, grasping, unquenchable, devouring, lust, et al.
You don’t want to be any of those, do you? The greatest book ever written has a lot to say about those dirty, obnoxious words. Take it off the shelf, too. Dust it off. Read it.
I’ve left ‘til last the two dirty, obnoxious words that will cure anyone of greed. They are piggish and hoggish.
I believe when the crooked CEOs and politicians realize they are nothing but dirty, obnoxious pigs, they’ll get up out of the slimy mud and become the great Americans they were before greed took over.
If they don’t, let’s put ‘em back in the pen with the other crooks.
Virgil Adams is a former owner and editor of The Jackson Herald.


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