Yogi’s wisdom is worth thinking about| Brunell

The late great philosopher Yogi Berra once proclaimed: “The future ain’t what it used to be.” It sure ain’t!

A lot has changed in the 60 years that have passed since Yogi was the catcher for the legendary New York Yankees. Hopefully, in the years ahead, we will experience a return of respect for one another and our way of life, which has been a beacon of hope for the rest of the world.

Today, there is too little civility, and the public discourse consists of subtle, and not-so-subtle, personal barbs aimed at piercing an opponent’s dignity and public persona.

Unfortunately, Yogi’s contention that “it was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much” is now a big part of our problem. There is little respect for opposing views.

How many of you have turned off your television and radio because commentators keep yelling at and over one another? Where are their manners?

The constant spin crafted by clever, well-paid political hacks has all of us wondering what the truth really is and if anyone is fit for public service. There is the truth and then there are innuendos – which is which?

“You can observe a lot by just watching,” Yogi added. Since the 1950s, many of us have done a lot of “watching” and wonder where our country is headed.

The pressing question: Is there a generation of business, organizational, educators, labor community and spiritual leaders and elected officials that can survive the current slanderous public grilling and risk facing public humiliation? Who would take that risk today?

Can we elect people who are willing to argue strongly for their beliefs, yet set aside their personal and philosophic differences to act in the best interests of our country? Will the political discourse return to respect and civility?

The core question for all Americans: “Can we look beyond ourselves, rise above personal criticism, and have the same strong commitment to make our country a better place in which to live and raise our families?

Since the future ain’t going to be what it used to be, hopefully it will morph into something better.

Here are some things to consider.

First, we need to reject the view that the “end justifies the means!” That philosophy advanced by Saul Alinsky in “Rules for Radicals” (1971) is one of “doing whatever it takes to get your way or win.” It alone has eroded public confidence in our way of life and political system.

Second, we need to restore a sense of responsibility and be accountable for our actions. A wise religious leader once said “when you point your index finger are someone else, remember there are three of your fingers pointing back at you.”

Third, unfortunately, there always will be injustices – hopefully, most are inadvertent. Yogi would say: “If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be!” That means we double-down on correcting inequities and injustices as soon as we see them

Fourth, we need to have the grit and perseverance to overcome adversity because we all face it. It is part of life. It takes determination, hard and, often frustrating work to become an accomplished welder, to earn an MBA or build a business.

Fifth, everyone needs a little help from friends. Baby boomers must be good mentors to those taking their places in the workforce. They also can provide a good historic perspective of what makes America great.

Yogi concluded: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”

We are at the fork in the road. We must carefully avoid the one that takes us over the cliff.

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He can be contacted at theBrunells@msn.com.

More in Opinion

Lawmakers on the road to finding car tab relief

One of the last spitball fights among lawmakers in the 2018 session… Continue reading

Your South King County legislators in action

Democrats must be careful to not overplay their hand in Olympia

Student debt draining retired income | Brunell

Lots has been written about students exiting college saddled with hefty student… Continue reading

Washington farmers need tariff relief | Brunell

The good news is Washington’s cherry crop is projected to be as… Continue reading

Private sector is stepping up for tourism | Brunell

Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. That’s particularly true… Continue reading

3 years in the making: new law on police use of deadly force

Legislators are about to pass a bill that will permit officers to kill only in ‘good faith’

Gov. Jay Inslee. REPORTER FILE PHOTO
Inslee sounding more presidential than ever

“Washington’s Unwritten Chapter” was the title of the State of the State… Continue reading

Male-only no more: The next House Speaker will be a woman

Frank Chopp’s reign as speaker of the state House of Representatives will… Continue reading

East Coast seaports ramping up capabilities | Brunell

While many eyes are fixed on trade talks between our country and… Continue reading

New year will bring a new libraries, opportunities

On Jan. 16, I will celebrate my one-year anniversary as the King… Continue reading

Viadoom looms

Closure, demolition of

Boeing hopes to build upon record year | Brunell

Last year, a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) global study of aerospace manufacturing attractiveness found… Continue reading