Monday, February 16, 2009

Times have changed

Some time ago I subscribed to a newsletter that is fairly right wing. I thought that I might broaden my outlook by reading their ideas. Unfortunately, I can hardly read a sentence without thinking 'what claptrap!'. Then I stop reading. There is one redeeming feature of this group; they send out a daily quote from one of the founding fathers of this country. Here is one that was sent out recently.

"It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good disposition."

--Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, 19 August 1785

This certainly sounds like a letter to a young person; a very fortunate young person to be tutored by so great a man. Of course the language is lovely but what strikes me is Jefferson had time to write to his young acquaintance. It seems we have no time any more. I cannot recall the last time I spent an hour writing a letter or even just watching the clouds roll by.

I forget, however, that Jefferson was a wealthy man with servants and slaves to take care of the mundane details of life. And his attention was not claimed by so many details of the world. He would not know of the airliner that crashed near Buffalo, NY or that nuclear subs have collided in the middle of the ocean. The amount of information we receive is truly amazing. Perhaps I need to create a limit on the amount of time I spend on the net. What do you think? What do you do? Do you find this information age somewhat daunting? Imagine the amount of information that is sent to the Presidents and Prime Ministers of the world. Yet another reason not to run for high office!

Take care; it's dangerous out there!

1 comment:

Lee said...

Priority is the word. What matters will get done.

And yes, I spend far too much time on-line!