As my friend Kent says, “Life is not a dress rehearsal.”
As Frankly Francis says, “Enjoy the moments as they come because there is no rewind button.”
As Marv Levy says, “Where would you rather be than right here, right now?”
We are in a very unique position geographically, economically, historically and politically. Perhaps never before in recorded history has a nation had at its disposal what we have today.
For the most part, it has been handed to us.
Seriously, as far as life as we know it on this planet goes, we have hit the big lottery.
So through apathy and sloth, will we waste what we have been given? Or will we further multiply it?
Social evolution is a non-linear pathway – we tend to get distracted along the way. What can safely be said is that humanity has yet to achieve its full potential.
I have an idea that in the long run, our Founding Fathers will be thought of more as practical philosophers rather than as revolutionaries. How they embraced the potential of mankind is really remarkable, especially in the context of the time that they lived in.
Indulge me and re-read these words:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Now over 230 years old, what powerful and well chosen words these are.
How symbiotic…first, amongst each other, we are all equal. Because of that, I have the absolute right to my own life. And given that, I have the liberty to live and pursue my own pathway.
Or in regressive terms, I cannot pursue my own happiness if I do not have liberty… and I cannot have liberty if I do not have the right to my life…and I cannot have the right to my own life unless we are all equal.
It all fits.
And it remains revolutionary to this very day.
But that’s not the intriguing part for me. The intriguing part is the glossed over, subtle and almost hidden words “among these.”
“Among These” expands our individual rights beyond the enumerated “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
What else does this include? Have you ever speculated?
Could it really, actually play out like this?
I may choose to do whatever I want, so long as I am not infringing on anyone else’s right to do what they want. Simply put, my right to throw a punch ends at your nose. However, if you stick your nose into my business, well then you face the consequences.
I believe that it is our unique individuality that needs to be maximized during the brief time allotted to us. Fight the Power Brothers and Sisters. And teach your children too.
I’ve mentioned the general info about streaking in the 70’s in a previous post. I also mentioned in that post that I streaked a time or two and it did have some unintended consequences:
It was a Sunday night back in 1974. Ernie and I were bored. We decided to streak the local 7-11 type gas station. We did. All going according to plan when in the midst of our “ass-cape,” Officer Timothy Onions decided to pull in to buy a pack of smokes. He came straight at us (he actually accelerated) in his car.
Ernie went one way, I went the other. Officer Onions followed me. I got to the back corner of the property and lo to my wonder and surprise was a six foot fence with spikes! Great development: Officer Onions running at me and the Wall of China in front of me. I jumped like it was the Olympics. That fence could have been ten feet high – I was one motivated jumper.
Ran through backyards to get to the car. Ernie had already made it and was leaning sidewise on the seat to avoid detection. I hopped into the driver’s seat and slid down as well. We were the news of the moment and we must have had half of the force looking to bring us to justice. And let me tell you, bring us to justice they did.
We had a good visual of the cars in pursuit, so any time one was headed towards us; we just slid down so that our car looked unoccupied. It was brilliant and we were sure that we had beaten The Man. But things can take a twist. The police, it seemed, had given up the chase, but then one last car came by. As we slid down into safety my foot hit the brake, thereby igniting the brake lights and furthermore giving the police officer the easiest arrest of his career.
It could have ended there, but it didn’t. I had to go to court. Because I was seventeen, I had to be accompanied by a parent. Mom, in all her unhappy glory, was there by my side. The judge read the charges, slid down his glasses a bit, then read some more. He looked up and asked, “Mr. Law, in attempting to avoid arrest, you ran through some backyards. Did you know that one of those was My backyard?” I said, “No.”
Of course, I hoped that this would make him unable to render judgment upon me and maybe it would all go away. He went on, “You know, my daughter’s bedroom window faces the backyard. Do you think that I want my daughter, looking out her window, to see you go running by without clothes?”
I sensed where he was going with this and replied, “I will never run naked in front of your daughter’s window again.” OK, so now it’s clear that this guy is going to render judgment whether he should or not…
I was found guilty of the crime of disorderly conduct and had to pay a fine, it being my first offense.
But that’s not what I’m here to talk about…I’m here to talk about becoming a Certified Public Accountant.
After passing the grueling 19½ hour test and doing my years of apprenticeship time, it was time for me to become officially certified. The application was going along fine until I hit the question, “Have you ever been convicted of any crime? If so, provide the details.”
Paranoia and fear struck me immediately. I mean, I’m asking the State Board of Accountancy to license me to its highest standards of accounting. Streaking and Accounting are two very different things.
My lawyer advised me that if I was honest and provided the details it would be much better than if I forgot that I had been convicted.
So like Arlo Guthrie in Alice’s Restaurant, when, in the midst of serious criminals at the Army Entrance Board, he has to confess to being a litterbug, I had to confess to the New York State Board that I had indeed been arrested for running around naked outside. Arlo, to his credit, didn’t get into the army, but for better or worse, I did get to be a CPA.
P.S. I never did run naked by the judge’s daughter’s window again, but that did not end my streaking career either…
Other than as a small child, have you ever run around naked outside? Well back when I was a teenager people did and it was called Streaking. The object was to run naked in a public place for a brief period of time and not get arrested.
It could be done solo. It could be done in group. Males did, so did females.
The craze happened at the very tail end of the Hippie Movement and though I rationalize that its meaning was an act of civil protest to society’s standards, it probably was just a fun, weird, quirky thing to do.
Nobody died from it, I am not aware of any innocent citizen being scarred for life, nor was it obviously addictive.
Having “Streaked” once or twice myself, I will say that it was exhilarating and I am glad that I experienced it. If you haven’t done so yet, my advice is to give it a try. You will be the better for it.
Of course, in my case, it did have some unintended consequences that I will discuss in greater detail in a post on this topic coming soon.