By: Jack Swift
Johnson County Historian
Every so often you hear the comment: “What is this world coming to?” We see in the newspapers and on television violence and mayhem and wonder if it will ever stop. The answer of course is not as long as human nature remains as it is. There are a lot of things wrong with the world and a list could go on and on. But, I believe that from a human standpoint there are three things that if eliminated would go a long way toward making this world a better place to live out our lives.
The first of these is inordinate jealousy. A certain amount of jealousy is good and desired, such as the jealousy we have for loved ones against the deleterious encroachment of others. But, I’m talking about the jealousy that wishes harm to those who succeed or wishes one has what the other person has instead of something like what the other person has. And, of course I believe that “keeping up with the Jones’s” can be a bad thing if it’s carried too far. It seems to me that the other two of the three are selfishness and greed.
Selfishness is the cause of a “multitude of sins”. I think it would be safe to say that most all crime is a result of selfishness. Selfishness results in disregard for one’s fellow man. It is an uncaring attitude toward others with only “me” as the primary concern. Carried to its ultimate end it can lead to the most heinous of conduct. Just as destructive is the vice of greed. People who exhibit greed in their lives usually have an attitude characterized by the “What’s mine is mine, what’s yours is mine”. So jealousy, selfishness and greed, are three of what I believe are the most destructive attributes that one can possess.
Take these away and the world would be a much better place. On the other hand, one of the most positive attributes one can possess is compassion. Some synonyms of compassion are forgiveness, tenderness, feeling, mercy and kindness. One couldn’t go wrong if one puts these concepts into practice. It would sure make a difference in the kind of world we live in if everyone would do just that. Of course, there are other things that are detrimental to society and to individuals but those that I’ve mentioned are very important. NOTE: This ran as one of my earliest columns.